Adam Walls, Toy Defense
Adam Walls received his BFA in art education from Limestone College, South Carolina, and taught in the South Carolina public school system for six years before receiving his MFA in sculpture from Winthrop University. Winner of numerous awards for his ceramics, woodworking, and steel-fabricated sculptures, since 2007 Walls has been teaching sculpture at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
His sculptures have been exhibited in numerous sculpture parks and exhibitions across the country. His current work is predominantly monumentally scaled steel-fabricated forms that often reflect his interest in childhood fantasy.
Toy Defense was made in 2004 from painted steel and is 8 feet long by 6 feet wide by 10 feet tall. First installed on City Plaza in 2009, Toy Defense is currently sited at Pullen Park near the Arts Center and Theatre in the Park. The sculpture encourages viewers to interact with it in the way they would play with toys as children.Adam Walls Website
Art Rice: In some ways, I think this is an interesting piece by Adam Walls. He’s playing with scale. He’s giving you something much bigger than you ever imagined it to be, given what it is. It feels like it should be part of the land, part of the environment, sitting in the environment and its place on a special piece of concrete. To me, that detracts from it because it almost would be better if it looked like something that fell from the sky and landed here versus something that is a constructed piece placed carefully in the middle of a concrete path. So that kind of suffers.
Adam Walls: When I was a kid, the coolest toys, in my opinion, that were coming out were the action figures. I think there was something engaging about my body in relation to space and shape and different forms…so I held onto that as an adult. So a lot of the forms that I make are in direct relation to my body to that form. In fact…in Toy Defense, which is in Raleigh, that actually has the outline of my body made into it and the form is made specifically for my body to climb up and then become part of the sculpture. Whenever I see a kid on one of these forms with my full-grown body shape to it, any kid that gets on it will imagine their own body and the limitations of their size of their own body now to where it could be. Really, I want any viewer to walk up to it, enjoy it for being a large colorful form that looks playful and whimsical, and maybe it will brighten their day in some way and maybe it will bring them back to some memory, something positive from their childhood, something fun and colorful.
That’d be my goal.