A new public mural is coming to Houston’s Asiatown

Proposed location of a new mural at 9798 Bellaire Blvd. / Courtesy of Thomas Tran

A new community mural will be painted and unveiled in Houston’s Asiatown in May for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month.

Houston artist Thomas Tran is working with VCSA (Vietnamese Culture and Science Association) to create the mural in Sterling Plaza at 9798 Bellaire Boulevard, on a proposed wall in the rear of the building facing H Mart.

Tran has been collecting public input through a Google form, in an effort to create a design that is “as varied and inclusive as the area is.”

“The goal is to promote wellness and community together-ness, and also be a cool mural,” he said in a statement.

Tran says that people may continue to use the form to provide comments, which he’ll reference heavily in coming weeks as he finalizes the design.

“Everything about the design is still in the air, but I currently have the image of an Asian father lovingly hugging his son, and the son is surprised as a major focal point in the mural,” Tran told Houston Arts Journal in an email.

“The theme is about community health, so I’d definitely want to include mental health,” he said.

The current mural schedule is:

  • May 16 – 18: Prep for wall
  • May 19 –22: Painting with volunteers. Open to the public.
  • May 22: Unveiling day
Alief Community Mural 2019 by Thomas Tran, located behind Thien Phu Wedding Restaurant
(11360 Bellaire Blvd Suite 100)
/ Courtesy of Thomas Tran

A graduate of Columbus College of Art and Design, Tran grew up in the Southwest Houston neighborhood of Alief, adjacent to Asiatown. He specializes in illustrations, comics, and murals. In 2019, he was awarded a grant from the City of Houston for a project to create murals in the Alief-Houston area. His past murals include the “New Alief Community Mural 2019” at Universal Plaza in Asiatown, and “Crocodile Garden,” a temporary mural created for Alief Art House in 2020.

Crocodile Garden by Thomas Tran, 2020, Alief Art House, located at Alief SPARK Park & Nature Center / Courtesy of Thomas Tran

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