Birth of creation: Artist Dakotah Rose Lemme finds God in garden

By Brandon Evans | Published Thursday, May 19, 2011
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What bit of magic touches an artist at the exact time of creation?

For Wise County artist Dakotah Rose Lemme, it’s divine inspiration.

CREATIVE SPIRIT - Dakotah Rose Lemme cradles a down-scaled replica of one of the scultptures decorating her country lawn in Allison. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Lemme talks in awed wonder about the hand of God reaching through dimensional fabrics, rustling the ether and creating life. As a sculptor, she carries it forward. Hands placed on a potter’s wheel, fingers sculpting pieces of art into creation, she feels she is continuing the work of God.

“Listen,” she said.

It’s Lemme’s key to unlocking the doors to inspiration and creation.

“It’s amazing,” she said. “It’s going to sound New Agey, but I’m not. I’m born again, saved to the bone, Christian. I listen for truth. I listen for the universe. Straightening of the chaos. I listen for awakening … I have the courage to face truth head on, and few people are willing to do that. You have all the answers inside you. You came with everything you need. You just gotta find it.”

She doesn’t have to journey far for inspiration. It’s in her backyard. It’s reflected there. A garden of statues stand stoic in mystery, shouting to be understood. A creek runs through the green meadow where Lemme communes with God through her art.

It demonstrates how wonders can be found anywhere. Her home is on the edge of the Allison community. Just around the bend, away from the cooling shade trees and yellow house on a hill, the noise of industry rumbles and belches. But not in her meadow where sculptures tell stories. They tie the personal with the divine. The present with the eternal. They explain her family and faith. They reflect elements of nature, such as cocoon, flame, tear and wing.

But her most recent piece is different. She wants it to be beyond words, beyond a story.

“The pieces I did before were parables,” Lemme said. “This is a prayer.”

The piece is called “Spirit.”

Delicate folds of clay run up and around the gray spire, shaped somewhere between cocoon and candle flame. It’s like a prayer made solid, suspended in reality.

ROSE-COLORED VIEW - Local artist Dakotah Rose Lemme finds inspiration in God, nature and personal struggles to help guide her hands. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

“My life motto is to seek truth, live fully and love completely,” Lemme said. “How hard is that? But it’s an eternal goal, so why not go for it?”

Lemme grew up in South Dakota in a Lutheran home. She dealt with poverty and an alcoholic father, but from adversity emerged strength.

She earned a bachelor of science in education from Dakota State University. Years later she earned graduate degrees in art and counseling from Texas Woman’s University and Dallas Baptist University, respectively.

Lemme has exhibited her art at many venues, including seven solo exhibits at the Trammell Crow Pavilion in Dallas and in Jerusalem, Israel. She creates sculpture, bas-reliefs, murals, paintings and pottery. Last weekend she was a featured artist at Cullen and Burke Gallery in Fort Worth.

View more of her work at

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