Randy Walker’s Proximal Ring located near the Education building creates a space that both mimics and encourages the processes of learning and teaching. Tall, tilting aluminum poles rise vertically at irregular heights around a horseshoe-like ring that alludes to council rings. Steel cords tether the tops of the poles creating a webbed canopy that represents the act of collaborating with peers. A stone bench that runs along the periphery of the ring provides a space for students to discuss and share ideas. Describing his hopes for the artwork Walker notes, “Perhaps the sculpture will be a meeting spot, a marker on campus. Rather than telling a clear, complete story, I have tried to leave an open framework to be completed by others.”
Walker is a Minneapolis-based artist who uses fibrous materials to make connections in three-dimensional space. His work includes hundreds of intertwining, often-colorful fibers that fill or reveal volume. For Walker, it takes many different parts to make the whole. In 2012 Forecast Public Art awarded Walker a McKnight Mid-Career Project Grant. His temporary and permanent sculptures have been exhibited throughout the United States including installations for the City of Minneapolis, Mill City Museum in Minneapolis, and the City of St. Louis.
Proximal Ring is located in a courtyard at the northeast corner of the Education building.
“FOCUS: Sculpture Envisions Gathering Place on New Terrace.” UW-Madison School of Education,
Pif Magazine, Interview with Randy Walker.