Students walk away from new art installation

Students walk away from new art installation

Brianna Wilson


I was really freaked out when I got an email from the college on March 25 telling me: “The Walkers Are Coming!” I’m not a huge fan of The Walking Dead, but I’ve seen and heard enough about the show to immediately think of zombies upon reading the rather urgent title of that email. Of course, I didn’t think the College was in an apocalypse by any means (at the very least, “The Walkers Are Coming!” would have been in caps lock if that were the case, right?), but that didn’t stop me from being wary as I opened the message.

The walkers have made themselves at home on the Lower Quad.  Maggie Harvey/ QUAKERCAMPUS

The walkers have made themselves at home on the Lower Quad. Maggie Harvey/QUAKERCAMPUS

In our March 28 issue, the Quaker Campus wrote about “The Walkers” coming as permanent installations to the College. That article covered the backstory of both the statues and their artist, Wang Luyan. I really appreciate their backstory — in fact, I thought it was very beautiful. I am happy to have Wang Xinsheng, Wang Luyan’s brother, memorialized on campus, especially considering how much he loved the College. I would gladly welcome other forms of art like this on campus. This is why I don’t have a problem with “The Walkers” overall. Their backstory gives me something to think about other than ‘oh, these things are extremely creepy.’ I can look at these statues — considering I can’t actually avoid doing so— and think of a man who just wanted his brother to be memorialized on the campus he loved so much, and I can appreciate the appearance of the statues a little more.

Though the statues have been revealed, I do not feel much better about them. The wooden figures placed on campus to reserve spots for the statues were creepy enough — and the statues look almost exactly like them! That in particular bothers me more than the appearances of “The Walkers.” I really wish more effort had gone into making the wooden placeholders look a little less like the actual statues. They’re far less amazing than they could have been, considering students have been walking by near-perfect replicas of these art pieces for weeks.

I asked first-year Jocelyn Jimenez what she thought of the statues, and she told me, “Oh, those are scary — especially at night. They look like shadows, but after a minute you remember they’re statues . . . They’re interesting, but I don’t know anything about them. They don’t bug me, they’re just there — but you obviously notice them. You can’t not notice them.” It’s true; they do stick out quite a bit. They’re tall, and they’re posed in a way that makes it seem like they’re walking in both directions. She made me realize that I won’t be able to ignore the statues, no matter how creepy they are. Hopefully, at some point, I’ll just get used to them being on campus.

Not all students think or feel negatively about “The Walkers,” though. First-year Julianne Rumer said, “I like “The Walkers” because they make the [College’s] landscape more interesting. The way they are built with intersecting panels makes them interesting to look at from all directions.  They also add to the character of the campus.” They certainly do add to the campus, and, with time, I’m sure all students will warm up to them if they don’t already like them.