San Carlos Apache-Akimel O’odham artist Douglas Miles artistic work is rooted in Apache history and deeply engaged with the world of contemporary pop culture. Douglas Miles (b. 1963) is a multi-faceted artist working as a designer, filmmaker, muralist and photographer who blends Native history with political resistance. His work encourages reflection on how art can foster community-building and promote pride and well-being, especially among young Native people.
Miles developed and founded Apache Skateboards in 2002, a program designed to support the athleticism of skateboarding that emulates the strength, endurance and tenacity of warriors. Since its original inception, the program has expanded to include the arts, education, political awareness and empowerment by connecting mainstream skateboard culture with contemporary Native life. Many of the skateboard designs depict Apache warriors and the youth of the San Carlos Apache reservation on skateboard decks.
Miles enjoys collaboration with other artists in almost all forms of his work and has worked with such artists as actor and author Ethan Hawke and artist Greg Ruth on a New York Times bestseller graphic novel, Indeh: A Story of the Apache Wars. He’s also collaborated with actress and artist LivÁndrea Knoki on a selection of photographs with text and image.
Miles’ work has been exhibited at Princeton University; Columbia University; Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Indianapolis; the Peabody Essex Museum; Salem, Massachusetts; the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History; and the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum in Santa Fe. In 2017 he was a resident artist at the San Francisco De Young Museum. The series, “The Blessing” was on view in 2018 during a solo exhibition at the Arizona Capitol Museum in 2018.