Three of the Texas' most prolific artists are set to receive one of the state's highest honors. On November 27, the Texas Cultural Trust announced the addition of three new names to its 2019 Texas Medal of Arts Awards honorees including Matthew McConaughey, Mark Seliger, and Trenton Doyle Hancock.
For most Texans, McConaughey needs no introduction. The star of Dallas Buyers Club and Dazed and Confused (not to mention those unforgettable Lincoln commercials), the Oscar winner will be honored with the Texas Medal of Arts in film for his decades-long impact on cinema.
The Ulvade-born actor has called Austin home since his time as a student at the University of Texas, and has become an indelible part of the city's cultural fabric through his nonprofit, Just Keep Livin Foundation, and his annual two-day fundraiser, Mack, Jack & McConaughey.
Amarillo-born and Houston-raised, Mark Seliger began his photography career at Rolling Stone, before moving on to Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, and Elle. Seliger's incredible portraits, some of which have become as iconic as the subjects themselves, have catapulted Seliger into one of Texas' most important living artists. Today, his work is included in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
Seliger credits his time at Houston's High School for Performing & Visual Arts for his success as a photographer. “Access to arts education from an early age clearly shaped my life’s path, so I have a personal connection to the work the Texas Cultural Trust is doing,” he said in a release announcing the news. The photographer will take home the Texas Medal of Arts in multimedia.
Though born in Oklahoma City, Trenton Doyle Hancock, as the saying goes, got to Texas as fast as he could. The Paris, Texas-raised artist and illustrator attended Texas A&M University before moving to Houston where he still lives and works.
Hancock's illustrations, influenced in part by his own experiences, comic books, and pop culture, often wrestle with good, evil, and the nuanced space in between. His artwork has been acquired by the permanent collections of both the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, as well as the Dallas Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. He will also add the 2019 Texas Medal of Arts in visual arts to his accolades.
“Texas Medal of Arts was established to honor artists who have helped shape the arts in Texas, and each of these honorees has unquestionably inspired creativity well beyond our state,” said Texas Cultural Trust executive director Heidi Marquez Smith in a release. “We are proud to partner with Matthew, Mark, and Trenton on our tenth biennial event and to recognize their combined efforts in solidifying the future of the arts in Texas.”
McConaughey, Seliger, and Hancock join five previously announced honorees for the 2019 Texas Medal of Arts Awards: fashion designer Brandon Maxwell, author and screenwriter Stephen Harrigan, architects Craig Dykers and Elaine Molinar, and the Vidal M. Treviño School of Communications and Fine Arts.
Since launching the biennial event in 2001, the trust has bestowed 108 Texans with the honor. This year's crop of winners will be awarded during a special two-day affair on February 26-27, 2019 at the Blanton Museum of Art.