Joel Jackson is not an Eagle Scout, but for all the work he’s done inside the Texas Theatre, maybe he should be.
The 18-year-old recently graduated from the School for the Talented and Gifted at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center. When not in school, he’s been painting five back-stage dressing rooms at the Texas Theatre.
Theater manager Mary Katherine McElroy says a friend offered her a high school intern last summer, so she tasked him with the paint job. Jackson could’ve just painted them all green, perhaps. But he had vision.
He decided each dressing room in the historic theater should have a decade theme. He sketched designs and pulled paint swatches from Home Depot to present to the theater’s managers.
“They didn’t really have strong opinions about what I should do,” Jackson says.
Probably because his ideas were awesome. And they’re beautifully executed. McElroy says Jackson and his dad also installed baseboards in the rooms.
Jackson started painting last summer, and he continued working over the winter break. He put the final touches on the 1940s room this week.
The Oak Cliff kid says he’s always been into sketching, figure drawing and comic book design. He also does mock stained glass, for which he has taken commissions.
He will attend the University of Houston in the fall.