The City of Ocala has announced the installation of two sculptural seating projects – “Chatter Bugs” and “Whisper Tubes” – at the new MLK First Responder Campus, located in the 500 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
“The project is being completed in collaboration with the development of the MLK First Responder Campus and will continue the concept of community as incorporated in the adjacent surface mural on the basketball court,” said Laura Walker, Cultural Arts and Sciences Division head. “This project in particular will include functional public art where community members can engage with each other while being immersed in the pieces.”
The interactive, steel-fabricated seating elements are themed around the concepts of community, partnership and communication. These playful looking sculptural forms are intended for interaction with children and adults, allowing safe opportunities for whispering through the antennae or climbing and crawling through the center.
“I believe that the sculptural seating will serve as a playful invitation for people to openly communicate in a positive setting,” said artist Adam Walls. “The reverberation of voices traveling from one speaker to another in each of these sculptural forms, the high-fives and handshakes included in these pieces, and the welcoming nature of these sculptural forms are intended to represent and hopefully facilitate cooperation and friendship.”
Walls has taught at the University of North Carolina Pembroke since 2007. His previous teaching experience includes Limestone College, University of South Carolina-Upstate and an assistantship with Winthrop University. Before teaching at the college level, Walls 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 ceramics and won numerous awards for his works, as well as his woodworking and steel fabricated sculptures.
Walls 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 College Art Association of America and Tri-State Sculptors. He has exhibited sculptures in numerous parks and exhibitions across the country and his work is predominantly monumentally scaled steel fabricated forms, which often reflect his interest in escapist fantasy.
As an educator with more than a decade of teaching experience, Wall’s dedication to his students is embodied in his pedagogy. He covers a variety of subjects that include steel fabrication, plaster casting and carving, woodworking, 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.