Art Valet: Truong helps turn bikes into works of art | Arts


Caroline Truong with a fresco she painted. (Contributed by Houston BCycle)

Houston BCycle, the non-profit self-serve bicycle program, is hosting an art exhibit. The Unicorn Bike Show takes place this Saturday, October 10 from noon to 5 p.m. and coincides with The Market at Sawyer Yards and Second Saturday Open Studios at Sawyer Yards.

Find the exhibit under the train shed on Art Alley, 1502 Sawyer St.

Houston BCycle invited 10 Houston artists with existing murals to paint 10 new BCycle bikes inspired by their art. The hand-painted bikes can be seen against the backdrop of large-scale public art photography that inspired their designs.

This project was funded by the Houston Arts Alliance in coordination with the City of Houston and features artists Alex Arzu, Daniel Anguilu, Fajar Hassan, Jasmine Zelaya, Jessica Guerra, Jessica Rice, Macy Ulbricht, Reginald C. Adams, Royal Sumikat, Skeez181 ​​and Caroline Truong.

Truong is an American of Vietnamese descent, born and raised in Houston. Her parents met in America after fleeing Vietnam at the end of the war. Truong graduated from the University of Houston with a BA in Arts Education, and after teaching for a few years returned to UH and earned a Masters in Human Resource Development.

Truong’s BCycle bike is based on a mural she painted in Midtown that features yellow apricot blossoms and red stripes from the South Vietnam flag that all make for a colorful bike.

“The mural celebrates the Vietnamese community of Houston, which is the third largest in the United States,” Truong said. “Thien An Sandwiches is a well established Vietnamese family business, which is why I contacted them for the location of the mural.”

Truong’s mural was funded by a micro-grant funded by Midtown Houston, the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Houston Arts Alliance.

“I had the idea for this mural before the grant opportunity arose,” Truong said. “When I saw the grant open, I thought it was a perfect way to get funding for the project.

“The mural represents both traditional aspects of Vietnamese culture and the first generation Vietnamese American identity,” she added. “I have included symbols of cultural significance like yellow apricots, which are the traditional Vietnamese New Year flowers. The refugee boat with the word “Dream” symbolizes the arrival of Vietnamese immigrants to Houston and their dreams of coming to America to live in a free country. Many refugees risk their lives by literally jumping on a boat to float in the middle of the ocean in the hope of being rescued by another country’s boat. Many did not succeed.

“This mural commemorates the sacrifice of those who courageously tried and those who survived,” Truong continued. “I painted the South Vietnam flag yellow with three red stripes on the Houston skyline. It is the flag that is recognized by the Vietnamese in America. You will never see the red flag with the single yellow star, which is the current flag of Vietnam here in Texas. I painted ‘Dream Bird’ in the mural to represent the dreams of today’s first, second and third generation Asian Americans, who may see the American dream in a different way than their parents did or immigrant ancestors.

Dream Bird is one of Truong’s creations that she incorporates into several of her paintings as a symbol of inspiration for mindfulness, self-care and self-confidence.

“I was approached by BCycle and referred by Cynthia Alvarado from Midtown because she knew I had a public mural in the works thanks to the grant, and wanted to encourage BCycle to give opportunities to women of color,” said Truong. ” I have been very lucky.

Houston BCycle bike painted by Caroline Truong - web.

Caroline Truong’s BCycle Houston

“Introducing and presenting myself as an Asian American artist is important to me because I think we are under-represented, especially having such a large population of Asians in Houston,” he said. she adds.

Visit Truong’s website at

More information about Houston BCycle is on Details on the art exhibition can be found at

Cohen is an artist and founder of the First Saturday Arts Market and the Market at Sawyer Yards. Find it at for additional highlights and artist stories.

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