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Adam O'Day ('99) ‘wasn't allowed to coast’

Adam O’Day (Class of '99) stepped onto Walker’s campus as a rising Sophomore in the Fall of 1996 and left his mark! He designed more than 15 playbills for the drama program, played Varsity Soccer and maintained an A average, often medaling in high level math classes.

Ironically, where Adam really felt inspired was not in the theater, not on the soccer field and not in a math class. It was Connie Snipes’ (retired) AP Art class that stands out as the place where Adam felt most challenged. “Connie shaped my young artistic mind and is an inspiring artist herself,” he said.
Following graduation from Walker, Adam attended the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration with an Associates degree in Graphic Design.

“College was insanely hard,” he said. “I felt prepared for [it] because of Walker. All the teachers and students made it what it was. My high school experience at Walker pushed me more than when I was at a public high school. They didn't let me coast by and I am thankful for that.”

After college, Adam worked at a printing press and then committed five years to the Armed Forces as a civilian Naval Engineer. After winning the Portrait of a City competition, Adam’s career took off. Six years ago, encouraged by his wife, Adam committed to life as a full - time artist and, since 2007, has participated in more than 100 art shows. 

We asked him what lesson he took from his time at Walker. He responded, “truly do what you want and don't listen to anyone else. Work at your dreams every day. Have style and individuality.” It is to that end, Adam is living and working every day. 

He is regularly commissioned to paint murals in Boston, New York and do the same in Columbia this summer. He is currently booked in Woodman Shimko Gallery (Palm Springs, CA, and Provincetown, MA) and Create Gallery (Somerville, MA) for 2020. A piece of his work will be part of the set on an upcoming AMC drama series (NOS4A2). He said he will continue to design beer labels for Aeronaut Brewing, tour posters, and album covers. His doom metal band Mollusk will release their third album in 2020 and recently, Adam has written and illustrated a children’s book, with a completed second book to be released soon.

It's fair to say Adam is indeed working at his dreams every day as he was taught at Walker.
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