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Adam Walls, “Solution” – by Kristen Lester

Adam Walls is a local artist from Gaffney, South Carolina. Walls began his creative journey at a very young age by creating things from objects around his house. Monica Holland writer for the Fayetteville Observer states that “Walls imagination is fueled by comics, cartoons, and fantasy, inspired his early craftsmanship”, these things today still influence the work that he creates daily. Walls uses his sculptures to express the meaning of the form that can’t be explained on paper. Walls engagement all began playing around with clay but later wanted a bigger challenge for himself, so he began metalworking and creating works of larger form and that is more engaging. Walls works in a variety of media, including plaster casting, carving, woodworking, found objects, stone carving, and so much more, but he is mostly known for his steel fabrication works.

Adam Walls Sculpture “Solution” is a painted steel fabrication sculpture in the permanent collection at the University of South Carolina – Upstate, “Solution” is located next to the Visual Arts Center Building. Upstate has also been the home of other Adam Walls’ sculptures such as works from the core collection that was also next to the Arts Center Building until late November 2019. This sculpture is 5’ x 9’ and weighs 450 lbs in total. This work isn’t mounted on a pedestal or base but is anchored to the ground with its weight. This work is abstract and has the appearance of an adult size toy spaceship or a small children’s ride in front of the supermarket. the work uses a combination of geometric forms to create the different parts of the sculpture, the work uses cylinders, circles, and quarter-circles to make up the pieces that are protruding around the back of the sculpture. “Solution” was originally painted green and purple, but the original color has faded, and now appear pastel pink and yellow. The sculpture does not take into consideration the light and shadows that the sculpture casts on the surroundings, but the work does consider the interaction with the spectators. The context of the work is for two people to sit together to solve issues and come to a resolution. 

If you were to take a closer look at this work, you will notice that work is very similar to those found in pop art culture and the Balloon sculptures by Jeff Koons. Both of these works are a larger scale version of their smaller counterparts. Both of these works have many similarities and differences from the materials, context, and subject. The works reference a toy that an adult could use rather than a small child. These works also are very nostalgic because they make the viewer think back on their childhood with the use of the toy plane and the balloon animals. Both of the works have an as the focus, and while one is temporary and the other is permanent, but they both point to the child inside of every adult. These works are both made from steel and later painted very bright colors. The surfaces of the two works are different, the balloon sculptures have a mirror-polished finish which makes the surface very reflective and “Solution” is a polished surface but is not reflective. Both of the works allow the spectator to be involved in some way or form, in the balloon sculptures the spectators can see their reflection on the surface and in “Solution” the spectators are allowed to sit on the sculpture to come to a solution.

USC Upstate Outdoor Sculpture
  1. Dan Millspaugh, "Red Sails" - by Brooke Graydon
  2. Daingerfield Ashton, “Untitled arch” – by Matthew Watson
  3. Jim Gallucci, “Gothic Gate” – by Shane Gilmore
  4. Jim Gallucci, "Oracles’ Gate 2" - by Mekayla Bagwell
  5. Winston Wingo, “Gun Amnesty Memorial” – by Scott Turner
  6. Scott Strader, “Tear of Illian” - by Kelsey Imm
  7. Scott Strader, "Annulus" - by Phillip Riser
  8. Hanna Jubran, “Big Red One” – by Tavis Shaw
  9. Adam Walls, “Solution” – by Katie Owens
  10. Adam Walls, “Solution” – by Kristen Lester