Memory Bomb, 2012
On the Median between 11th & 12th St.
Adam Walls has taught at UNCP since 2007. His previous teaching experience includes Limestone College, USC-Upstate, and an assistantship with Winthrop University. Before teaching at the college level, Adam has taught six years in the public school system, three years for art centers and other private institutions, and operated his own ceramics studio where he taught pottery and won numerous awards for his ceramics as well as his wood working and steel fabricated sculptures. He received his MFA in Sculpture from Winthrop University in 2005 and his BA in Art Education from Limestone College in 1996. He is a member of CAA and Tri-State Sculptors. Adam’s sculpture has been exhibited in numerous sculpture parks and sculpture exhibitions across the country. Adam’s current work is predominantly monumentally scaled steel fabricated forms which often reflect his interest in escapist fantasy. As an educator with over a decade of teaching experience, Adam’s dedication to his students is embodied in his pedagogy. He covers a variety of subjects that include steel fabrication, plaster casting and carving, wood working, the creation of volumetric forms using found objects, stone carving, and the creation of functional art and sculptural prosthetics. His teaching philosophy promotes students to find their own voice and to make use of a variety of materials to do so.
The majority of my sculpture is concept driven and is highly viewer interactive. My concepts are usually derived from some memory that was stirred by the shape of some found object, or from some memento that I have held on to since childhood. These things bring up thoughts and experiences that challenge me and guide me through the creative process. There are interactive elements in much of my work that are often derived from my love of escapism, toys, comic books, and pop-culture icons. My outdoor sculptures that are brightly painted are designed to attract the viewer’s attention and convey an opportunity for escapist fantasy and viewer interaction. This is the case for my works entitled Getaway Car, Toy Defense, Solution, Self Portrait, and Creepy Crawley. In these sculptures there is an area in each for the viewer to sit, climb, or crawl through. My interest in creating such viewer involvement comes, in part, from interest in my own body. As a child it was always fascinating for me to fit inside a foot stool, or in between the legs of a chair, or under a bed, rather than on top. I was also captivated by placing action figures inside of the vehicle that was commonly sold separately as an accessory. This concept is most evident in the piece entitled Timeline. In Timeline, I have incorporated a looping video that can only be engaged by squeezing oversized clothespin handles to connect the video feed to the screen. This video depicts me gazing through the eye of a clothes pin as the camera focuses in on my eye and then pulls back out to find me replaced by a young boy. This boy holds a Batmobile in one hand as he passes clothes pins to his mother with the other hand. As the mother hangs clothes, she smiles back at the child. The camera then focuses back through the clothes pin into the child’s eye. As the camera pulls back out, the viewer is again presented with
me in place of the child. This work serves as a time machine for me in the way that allows the viewer to return to a moment in my past where I first felt useful and important as I could help my mother with daily chores.
As previously stated, it is not as important that my viewer understands my concept, as it is important that they are presented with a powerful experience. For me this experience comes in the final moments of completion and installation as my months of toil disappear into the seemingly effortless whimsy of such work.