By TRT Staff with notes from NLL
The National Lacrosse League has long been a leader in championing the awareness of Indigenous Peoples and their crucial role in the continued growth and development of their native sport of lacrosse. In that continued spirit and in conjunction with June’s Indigenous History Month in Canada, the league launched a pop art initiative featuring three standout Indigenous artists.
Anthony’s father was Six Nations/Delaware, and his mother is from the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. He resides on Six Nations as the Owner and Sole Proprietor of Vision Artworks. His business produces custom apparel screen printing, vinyl decals, signage, promotional items, graphic design, limited edition prints, and original mixed media artworks.
Anthony described his piece and the messages hidden within it to the NLL, saying the work is a reflection of older works he created.
“The head and body design in the piece come from other works I completed over the years. I have always been aware of Norval Morrisseau, and while at school at the Ontario College of Art and Design I studied up on him further. The X-Ray technique of the Woodland School Artists has always been of interest and I have tried to take their designs and ideas a bit further and make my own style. When I was commissioned to do the piece for the NLL I decided to use the X-Ray style with the lacrosse designs and ideas I had in place. I wanted the design to convey the fierceness of the traditional game and show the respect we have for the true intentions of the Creator’s Game … The Medicine Game. The Wampum Men on the top of the design represent the generations that have come before to bring the game forward, to show the respect we have for the older generations that kept the traditions alive.”
With the goal to become a truck driver, hockey player or artist in his lifetime, Anthony made the decision in high school to pursue art. He was accepted at a half dozen universities and colleges before deciding upon Ontario College of Art & Design University (OCAD). In the end, he said he believes he made the right choice and the experiences at OCAD has helped shape his artwork ever since.
When asked about art and its importance to Indigenous people, Anthony shared that art can be used as a myriad of expressionism.
“Art is important to Indigenous people as it helps to keep traditions alive and strengthen us at a personal and communal level. It is a positive outlet for creativity and character that enriches the lives of those close. It helps showcase the talents that are prevalent in Indigenous peoples and bolsters the sports, music, and other areas of our lives,” he said.
Anthony explained that the significance of lacrosse is intertwined into his piece as a depiction of the good medicine within the sport.
More of his work can be found at his website, Visionartworks.ca .