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Celebration Circle Panels

Randy Thomas with Roy Thomas
Varies: 1m high x 1.5m wide (4'h x 5.5'w)
Corten Steel
2011
Prince Arthur's Landing - Celebration Circle (Spirit Garden)

Thomas 1  Thomas 4 

I am an Ahnisnabae born artist.  I use my spirituality and inspirations around me to paint.   

The series of images I created are of the Woodland style, created in this region of Northern Ontario by our ancestors of long ago. The images show the animals that represent the air, land, water and fire. The turtle image from the Ahnisnabae culture represents this land; North America. The Thunderbirds represent great power. I strongly believe in keeping tradition and to never forget where you come from. Through my art I thank my ancestors and relatives for passing on their teachings.  

- Randy Thomas (artist)

The exterior face of the Celebration Circle features artwork by Randy Thomas on nine corten steel panels of varying size. The Celebration Circle was designed by architect Ryan Gorrie originally from Thunder Bay, and is part of the Spirit Garden, a place where local Aboriginal artistry, culture and traditions are reflected and celebrated.

Thomas is one of the City's emerging young artists and his interpretation of the competition theme, placed emphasis on sharing, peaceful co-existence and regard for the natural world. Thomas’s mentor, the late Roy Thomas, is recognized internationally for his skill and distinctive style of Woodland art. To honour his father, Randy chose to include Roy’s work Lifegivers amongst the panels. 

Panel 1: The Great Thunder – “Great thunder is the greatest power of all.”
Panel 2: Keeping Tradition - "Fire is a life element, it is natural to gather around a fire.”
Panel 3: People of Turtle Island – “All walks of life live on Turtle Island together.”
Panel 4: Turtle Island – “Wolf is the land, bird is the air, fish is the water on Turtle Island.”
Panel 5: Lifegivers by Roy Thomas as interpreted by Louise Thomas
“The lifegivers are the land, air, water and fire. Without the lifegivers there would be no life on Turtle Island. The animal represents land, the bird represents the air, the fish represents the water and the sun represents the fire. These are the four elements of life”. 
Panel 6: Life Spirits – “All life spirits are connected.”
Panel 7: Thunder Spirit – “Thunder Spirit in Thunder Bay.”
Panel 8: Great Lake Merman – “Great Lake Merman represents Great Lake Life.”
Panel 9: Sharing - "We must all share the land, the air and water with each other."
Panel 10: Interpretive text panel