Courtesy Douglas Miles
Art of Douglas Miles Exhibit at Columbia University NYC Starts November 17 – A few of Miles’ Skateboard decks.

Art of Douglas Miles Exhibit at Columbia University NYC Starts November 17

Alex Jacobs

Douglas Miles (Apache) an artist known for his recent collaboration with Ethan Hawke on the graphic novel “Indeh” and his extensive body of work on murals and his cutting edge business Apache Skateboards will have his work on display at Columbia University NYC this November through May.

From left to right - Greg Ruth, Ethan Hawke and Douglas Miles of Apache Skateboards

“Apache Chronicles: The Art of Douglas Miles, this exhibit confirms the momentum evident in Native America and its broader impact. While not generally covered by the media, Native American artists, intellectuals, and activists like Douglas Miles are at the forefront of transforming how we think about American history, art, and global issues such as the environment.” This is from Frances Negrón-Muntaner, chief curator of the Gallery at the Center, part of Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race (CSER). The exhibit opens on November 17 and will run until May 30, 2017 at Columbia University, 420 Hamilton Hall.

Apache artist, activist and entrepreneur Douglas Miles presents two dozen works on paper, wood, and skateboards. From the CSER Gallery’s statement, “Miles’s production is an innovative blend of science fiction, comic books, skateboarding culture, and the Apache warrior tradition. The work uses nontraditional materials to create participatory artistic experiences that also tell Native stories and offer Native perspectives that are often absent from mainstream accounts. In Miles’s own words, the work looks through a clear lens beyond recorded history and into a reflection of an “unheard and unseen reality.”

Curator Negrón-Muntaner also said of Miles, “His work encourages reflection on how art can foster community building, promote pride and cultural well-being, especially among young people. His use of imagery that includes the famous Apache Chief Geronimo emphasizes both the centrality of conflict in Apache-American modern history, as well as the Native resistance to both cultural commodification and political incorporation.”

Miles’ activism is really about artists empowering themselves and their communities by asserting control of the medium and the message, and the market as much as possible. This is demonstrated in the hip-hop aesthetic of his skateboards, graphic arts, videos and events that Apache Skateboards puts on at Indian Market and other gatherings. Hip-hop has become the base of New American Pop Culture and its top spokespeople do say it is an accepting and accessible culture that should be open to all forms of expression. He continues to tie all these forms together, as a producer, director or impresario, as well as being an artist and a communicator.

We last covered Douglas Miles and his residency in the South Bronx with his community mural project and a collaborative project with graphic artist Greg and author/actor Ethan Hawke, a graphic novel titled “Indeh” that was on the best-selling list this past summer.

Indeh Cover - Grand Central Publishing

“Apache Chronicles: The Art of Douglas Miles”, the exhibit is free and open to the public from November 17, 2016, to May 30, 2017. Visit for more information and you can find an application for the CSER Indigenous Studies Summer Program, a two week program at Columbia University.

The Gallery at the Center was founded in 2012 and is located at the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race at Columbia University. The Gallery’s mission is to show artistic and thematic exhibits around the Center’s key areas of interest, including immigration, citizenship, national formations, labor, public space, race, ethnicity, and/or indigeneity. Works shown at the Gallery will be drawn from public and private collections as well as from university collections. The Gallery is also open to proposals. If you have a proposal for an art or thematic exhibit on any of the above-mentioned topics, please submit a brief proposal, a biography or resume, and a sample of two items to [email protected].

CSER kicks off this exhibition on Thursday, November 17, 2016 at 6:00 pm with an opening reception at Columbia University, 420 Hamilton Hall. (Please enter at Broadway/Amsterdam and 116th Street Gate.)


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