ARLINGTON, Texas -The Dallas Cowboys Art Collection is the pride and joy of Gene Jones. While the actual art pieces are quite expensive, the opportunities they create are priceless.
For the third straight year, the Jones family and Arlington ISD have teamed up to give fifth graders one of those priceless opportunities. On Wednesday, students got a tour of the world-renowned art collection, then had the opportunity to create their own artwork inspired by what they saw. These pieces were then put on display inside AT&T Stadium at the annual reception.
This program has become a tradition and rite of passage for students before they enter junior high. The goal of the program is to instill an appreciation for art in students, encouraging them to continue pursuit of art education beyond their elementary school requirements
This year's reception also celebrated the 7th graders - the first to graduate the art program - that participated in the NFL Draft helmet decoration competition. The 10 helmets were displayed at the NFL Draft Experience as well as the Dallas Cowboys War Room, before being put up for bidding through NFL Auction with proceeds benefitting the Arlington ISD Student Art Program.
Gene Jones surprised the students with the news that she was the winning bidder of all 10 helmets.
A teary-eyed Mrs. Jones said, "I saw the work that the students put into them and thought they deserved to stay here in Arlington."
The helmets will be displayed in AT&T Stadium during the preseason, then returned to the respective schools that made them.
With regard to the gift, Arlington ISD Superintendent Dr. Marcelo Cavazos said, "Initially, I was surprised. But then I thought about it and I wasn't surprised at all because that's the nature of our relationship with Mrs. Jones. She's always giving."