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The Art Of Recognition: Commission Opens Nominations For Texan Artists, Musicians To Be Honored

Bill Fitzgibbons
San Antonio-based artist Bill Fitzgibbons' computerized LED light sculpture at VIA Metropolitan Transit's Centro Plaza functions as a way finding device. Fitzgibbons was honored as the state visual artist for 3D media in 2012.

Every two years, the Texas Commission on the Arts nominates a select number of artists who "inspire others through their unique creative expression" to be recognized by the state.


The commission, which primarily gives grants for arts programming across the state, honors the best of Texas artists in several categories: state musician, state artist, poet laureate and state visual artist in 2D and 3D media.

According to the commission’s Director of Communications Anina Moore, the highly coveted state musician designation has been awarded to some of the state’s giants.


Credit Terry Calogne
Terry Calogne
George Strait

"Past musicians named to this position include Willie Nelson, Flaco Jimenez and Little Joe Hernandez," Moore said.

Also in the winner’s column is long-time San Antonio resident George Strait. The city is also well-represented among poet laureates, with Jenny Browne, Laurie Ann Guerrero and Carmen Tafolla as recent winners.

Panels of leaders in various artistic fields judge the nominees.

"We work very hard to make sure that the folks who are part of that process do not have a dog in the hunt," she said.

The winning nominees will be awarded their year-long distinction next spring, and Moore said they're looking to fill two separate groups of four artists. The final vote is up to the Texas legislature.

"We're actually looking for eight artists who will be designated for 2021 and another four who will be designated for 2022," she said.

You can nominate living artists through Oct. 15 at arts.texas.gov.

Jack Morgan can be reached at Jack@TPR.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii.

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Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii