King County Parks has partnered with the One Roof Foundation and Seattle Kraken to commission public artwork from Seattle-based artist T.R. Miles at Skyway Park. Miles is known for “Sunshine,” the mural of park scenes at Rainier Avenue and 54th Street in South Seattle.
T.R. Miles’s mural Sunshine, located at Rainier Avenue and 54th Street in South Seattle.
“We are so honored to display Troy’s amazing artwork at Skyway Park,” said King County Parks Director Warren Jimenez. “Our vision is that parks can go beyond just providing physical spaces, they should also reflect the local community and inspire and uplift parkgoers.”
Invited to design Skyway-inspired images, Miles spent time in the neighborhood and park, engaging with local residents and community members to develop ideas and images for his project. The artist focused on getting to know popular landmarks and also spent a day with youth at Dimmitt Middle School in Renton. Miles’ visitation coincided with the NHL Black Hockey History Mobile Museum’s visit to campus, which was coordinated by the Seattle Kraken. Miles had the opportunity to observe local youth while they learned about the history of black athletes in the NHL from the museum’s curator which gave him inspiration for his artwork.
T.R Miles’s new artwork on display at Skyway Park.
Ultimately, Miles created four art panels for the park’s multisport (street hockey and basketball) court. Designed using his signature “broken glass” style, Miles drew the original artwork freehand with a mouse. As a “pixel painter,” Miles uses graphic design to create shapes that form the basis of his artworks. His most complex commissions are made of up of 5,000 to 6,000 shapes and take weeks to create. Miles likens his process to “digital jazz” – he can never recreate anything that he makes in the moment because the shapes are improvisational, like a jazz solo. The resulting artwork for Skyway Park depicts people from the community in playful combination with the iconography of the Seattle Kraken.
One of four commissioned art panels at Skyway Park by artist T.R. Miles.
“Troy was a perfect fit for this project as someone who is very familiar with the Skyway neighborhood,” says Andrew Bloom, Community Engagement & Youth Access Specialist for Seattle Kraken. “We were drawn to his vision of combining Skyway landmarks with Kraken elements in what he called “Where’s the Kraken”, borrowing ideas from “Where’s Waldo” and combining them with his unique shapes and layering skills. We could not be happier with how the artwork and goals turned out, and we hope the neighborhood of Skyway will enjoy them for years to come.”
The artworks were installed February 22 and were formally unveiled to the public at an event at Skyway Park on March 12, 2–4 p.m. The project was funded with a grant from the Washington State Department of Commerce. The multisport court and artwork are part of recent improvements and new equipment at Skyway Park, developed in ongoing collaboration with the community from 2015 to 2021 and made possible by a voter-approved levy.
Artwork by T.R. Miles at Skyway Park inspired by local landmarks and residents.