Artist: Chris Bingham 

Hometown: Dallas 

Title: Trinity Trail Buds 

Look closely as you walk along the banks of the Trinity River and you might see all types of herons: Little Blue, Yellow-Crowned Night, or even Black-Crowned. 

In Chris Bingham’s mural “Trinity Trail Buds,” you see something very rare: An Origami heron. 

The yellow-and-grey heron at the center of his mural – it’s surrounded by white, origami flowers, maybe Dogwoods – reflects the precision Bingham undertakes with each of his murals.  

“I’m a big proponent of letting people take the art into their own minds and letting them enjoy the beauty of it. If they enjoy it hopefully it sparks a memory or an emotion,” Bingham said. 

An Oak Cliff native and a Mesquite high school art teacher, Bingham calls his ever-evolving style “nostalgic realism,” which he has said allows him to blend past experience with emotion. For him, the origami artwork is an homage to his grandmother from Yokohama, Japan.  

Someone who always keeps his hands busy creating – he sketches while being interviewed – Bingham studied graphic design at Texas State University and the University of North Texas before earning a degree in drawing and painting from the University of Texas at Arlington.  

So, it comes as no surprise that there’s a careful use of color and design in his work. Bingham likes to mix different ideas by using a strong pattern intertwined with representations of reality. In “Trinity Trail Buds,” the bird and flowers may be origami, but there’s a realistic Ladybug. 

“I hope to place the viewer in a familiar time or place, churn a memory that may have been long forgotten, or just make you remember why it is you love your life,” Bingham said. 

Next time you’re out on the trails, keep your eyes open for the colorful creations popping up along the river. You can also follow @TrinityTrails on Instagram to see more pictures of completed and in-progress structures!

Are you interested in staying connected with the Painting the River project? Sign-up for our newsletter and learn about new murals and the project each week.