Dee Clements - Interview
When it comes to creating his sculptures, Dee Clements is inspired by a vast array of interests and experiences. In particular, the memories and imagery of his childhood in a small Midwestern community. Clements was born in Armour, SD, where a tight community and family were a common virtue. “I’m proud of my Midwestern background and I really appreciate the freedom I was able to enjoy as a child in the open spaces of the plains,” he says.
Clements earned his BFA from the University of South Dakota and he has been sculpting ever since. After finishing graduate school in Colorado, Clements began his career working in plaster and power; however, in 1986, he shifted to casting his work in bronze.
The sculpture, which is made entirely out of bronze and stands 18 inches tall, is a 3-dimensional depiction of the Harvey Dunn painting, “The Prairie is My Garden.” “This is the model for the life-size piece commissioned by the South Dakota State University Foundation and placed at their McCory Botanical Gardens in Brookings,” he says. “I was honored to create such an iconic piece.”
“The Prairie is My Garden” is typical of his work as it tells a story about our heritage and history. “I’m inspired daily by the mettle of the American worker and want to always depict that individuality and strength.”