Every two years, the Texas Commission on the Arts announces its appointments to the honorary positions of state poet laureate, state musician, etc.
For 2009, the Texas state musician is Willie Nelson (must have been a tough vote), the state poet laureate is Paul Ruffin, who was the founding editor of The Texas Review and teaches at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville. The Texas state two-dimensional artist is Rene Alvarado of San Angelo, and the state three-dimensional artist is Eliseo Garcia of Dallas (that’s his limestone “Monument to Nature” in North Richland Hills).
The 2010 appointees: The state poet laureate is Karla K. Morton of Denton, while the Texas state musician is Sara Hickman, who was raised in Houston, graduated from UNT in Denton, made her name on the Dallas music scene and currently claims Austin as her home. The state’s three-dimensional artist is John Bennett of Fredericksburg, and the state two-dimensional artist is Marc Burckhardt of Austin (that’s his handsome frog on the right, undoubtedly a self-portrait).