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Douglas Miles’s Apache Taco Truck


A personal History from Douglas Miles of Apache Skateboards.

Late last month I went to the White Mountain Apache Reservation ( aka Fort Apache Indian Reservation) to visit with friends, relatives and one of the long-standing members of the Apache Skateboards (AS) Team : Tashadawn Hastings. I sponsor her on my team so I created a few custom decks for her to ride and gave her some recent t-shirts I designed. I don’t get to see Tasha enough but always try to hook her up when I can. She’s traveled with AS throughout the last 10 years and was featured in a short film doc, “Apache Chronicle” directed by Nanna Dalunde produced by Apache Skateboards.

After we sat in the park making art I drove her home and saw her partners fry bread & taco truck sitting in the dirt drive way. She said the family owned and operated it selling food, (fry bread and tacos ) on certain days of the week and especially on the “first of the month”.  I wanted to paint it then and there and suddenly saw an atypical canvas and new art challenge. My father is from the White Mountain Apache Tribe born in a small village called Carizo. My mother was born on the neighboring San Carlos Apache reservation ( where I currently reside ). I always find it fitting and appropriate when I can make art of do work in the White Mountains because my family also lives there.

Tasha and I began to make plans. I told her if the owners could provide the paint, I would provide the artistry. After they opened and sold food throughout the first week of August, they provided money for the paint. It took a four hour round trip drive to Phoenix AZ ( home of Thomas “Breeze” Marcus’ "Paint PHX" ) to get the paint but was I excited to start this mobile Apache taco truck mural on the res.

I returned to Whiteriver AZ on Tuesday August 4th and started the mural. I spent the night at a friends but then proceeded over to Tasha’s place after grabbing a breakfast burro ( at a different Apache street food vendor ) at 8:00 am. At 8:30 am I started sketching the outlines of the Apache male and female faces first.

We also set up a video camera filming the complete session and hope to share that with you too after we edit it into a time lapse video. It was a nice 85 degrees in Whiteriver that day but down in Phoenix it was record triple digit heat that day (115). As lunch rolled around Tasha and Kyra Dawn Valenzuela made me tacos.

The other side of the truck needed a simpler design so I created a single female  character but carefully selected and utilized my hand drawn and hand cut stencils over the “take out” window. It was a hot day and it was definitely tiring but I’m proud of the fact my art is now seen in the land of my father and mother while people are ordering up a fry bread or tacos on the res.

Thank you and I hope you all can make it out to the Apache Res one day so we can all paint too.

Please enjoy this gallery of the creation and completion of the mobile mural...

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