Martin Dawe: Meditation is My Most Powerful Creative Tool

Martin C. Dawe is a sculptor who works primarily as a commissioned artist in a variety of mediums. Martin has become well known for his figurative and representational work, which ranges from loose, impressionist work to traditional sculptures with a late 19th century style. From the World Athletes Monument in Midtown Atlanta to his contemporary site installations, Marty has developed a very personal style of collaboration from his work with private, public and corporate clients. Marty was awarded the Honors Award for Arts by the American Institute of Architects, AIA Georgia, artist of the year in 2001.

 “Meditation for me is very close to my spirituality. When I am quieting all the gibberish, I’m breathing deeply and letting solutions come to me. Using meditation is the most powerful creative tool that I have.” ~Marty Dawe

Listen to Marty’s Art as Worship interview on Empower Radio.

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Marty moved to the United States when he was a child and grew up in New Jersey. He studied at Boston University School of Fine Arts and received a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Sculpture from Georgia State University. He apprenticed for 8 years under Julian Harris.

Landing Gear

Marty began his own custom sculpture studio in 1987 and incorporated as CherryLion Studios, now the largest custom sculpture studio in Georgia, in 1994. He leads a team of talented apprentices at his 6,000 square foot studio near downtown Atlanta. Here Marty blends state-of-the-art technology with a disciplined, classical approach. He is known for his ability to collaborate, stay within budget and meet deadlines. The studio has executed hundreds of commissions including 25 large-scale public art installations. CherryLion Studios has developed mold-making and casting processes, as well as formed relationships with many area foundries.

Marty comments that he practices stillness meditation to connect with his creative flow, then the act of sculpting becomes a moving mediation. He says, “I would imagine for a lot of artists when they are making art, they are meditating and channeling. As you lose some of the ego and judgments, you’re making pieces that are better than what you could do by yourself.”

Elliott’s Circle

He considers his work problem solving. Marty says, “I like interaction and I like being presented with a situation that needs a solution. I have a collaborative personality and have been very interested in problems that were a lot bigger than me. Working with a group, we can create something bigger than an individual would.”

Selected commissions include:

Elliot’s Circle, The Galloway School, Atlanta GA 2010: An outdoor classroom with Elliott Galloway and a student in bronze sitting in a circle of GFRC logs on the ends of which are engraved all alumni since the founding of the school in 1969. Watch a timelapse video of Marty and his team as they create Elliott’s Circle.

Landing Gear, Terminus, Atlanta, GA, 2009: 12’ tall cast stainless steel abstract figure for courtyard.


Nourish, Atlanta Community Food Bank, Atlanta, GA – 2005: Three sets of tables and chairs covered with pigmented translucent reliefs imbedded with donor recognition plates.

Equilibrium, Fulton County Juvenile Court Facility, Atlanta, GA – 2002: 158 colorful reliefs in the lobby of the new Juvenile Court building were commissioned as a part of the Fulton County Arts Council’s Art in Public Places. Martin held a summer workshop with children from the Juvenile Court to develop imagery for the reliefs. On the west wall, the reliefs are arranged in an abstract pattern and on the east wall, the same reliefs come together to form two 22’ dancing figures of children.


Find out more about Marty and CherryLion Studios at Marty was featured in an Atlanta Business Chronicle article about the importance of public art. He is quoted in that article saying, “Successful public art can reinforce a sense of place; articulate complex concepts; present the ideals of a community; memorialize significant events and people; heal wounds; entertain; inform; and challenge the way we see our world, our city and ourselves. It makes the city a more desirable and meaningful place to live and provides a positive means of public engagement.”

Listen each Wednesday at 9am Eastern on Empower Radio to hear another artist’s story. Share your art or your comments on the Art as Worship Facebook page. Namaste!

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