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Art Walk

Welcome to Dickinson’s Art Walk sponsored by The Trout Gallery. This is your chance to learn about art on Dickinson’s campus and around town and get 4,843 steps. The route makes a large figure-eight, beginning and ending with bronze outdoor sculptures on campus. If you'd like to split up the walk, simply follow one loop of the figure-eight at a time.  To follow the route, simply click on the stops below. Along the way, we provide interesting background information (culled from campus and local news articles, videos, websites, and interviews) about what you’re seeing.

Enjoy your walk!

1. Negotiation

Begin your walk on the plaza in front of The Weiss Center for the Arts. On the East side of the lawn you will see a large geometric-looking round shape. This bronze, eight-foot sculpture cuts an eye-catching figure on a campus that traditionally draws aesthetic interest from its stately architecture, lush flora and canopies of trees. The artist, Patrick Strzelec, titled the work Negotiation, and explains that it's a representation of the dialogues we engage in—internal and external, trivial and profound—throughout each day. But he's quick to note that the sculpture, commissioned by former Dickinson president William Durden '71, and his wife Elke, invites varied interpretations and sparks conversation, inspiration and debate.

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2. Weiss Facade

Turn now to the facade of Weiss Center for the Arts, home of The Trout Gallery.  The Gallery was created in 1983 as part of the transformation of the college's old field house into the Emil R. Weiss Center for the Arts. Look at the façade of the Weiss Center and compare Weiss to Old West, just across the street. Notice any similarities? Weiss was patterned after Benjamin Latrobe’s famous design of Old West. Funding for the new art museum was provided by Ruth Trout '36, and her sister Helen, who named it in honor of their parents Brook and Mary.

With over 11,000 works of art in its permanent collection, The Trout Gallery features the most extensive art collection in the greater Carlisle area. It seeks to inspire creativity and to support the study and experience of the visual arts through direct contact with works in the Gallery’s collections and exhibitions. The Gallery is free and open Monday-Saturday 10AM-4PM.

3. Bronze Bell

On the west side of Weiss plaza is another work of outdoor sculpture in the form of a bell. The Toshiko Takaezu bronze bell Autumn II was acquired to mark the entrance to the Emil R. Weiss Center for the Arts. The bell is not only a fitting work for visual artists and musicians, it also makes reference to the original bell that once stood in the cupola of Old West, which marked the hours of the academic day throughout the nineteenth century. Toshiko Takaezu, a master ceramicist from Hawaii, designed the bell according to Japanese models. Consequently, it lacks an internal clapper. To ring the instrument, one must strike its exterior with a large wooden mallet. The bell was cast at the Johnston Atelier.

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Enter the front doors of Weiss and turn left towards The Trout Gallery.  This Summer, The Gallery hosts two exhibitions.  Upstairs, William Gropper's America features drawings, prints and paintings by American artist William Gropper (1897-1977).  Gropper spent his career denouncing and satirizing corrupt politicians, bourgeois capitalists, and power hungry dictators.  Our downstairs space features The Legacy of Two Centuries of Black American Art, an exhibition celebrating the legacy of artist, activist and curator David Driskell.  The show features a selection of artists shown in Driskell's groundbreaking 1976 exhibition, which presented the first nationally circulating survey of Black American art.

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5. Bicycle Sculpture

Upon leaving The Trout Gallery, turn left on High Street and walk towards Britton Plaza, just past College Street on your right.  Turn right and proceed towards the Holland Union Building (HUB).  As you face the HUB take the path to the left to join up with Dickinson Walk (D-Walk).  Follow D-Walk past ATS and you will see up ahead the bicycle sculpture, Wheels at the Handlebar. The  sculpture was done in 2018-19 by two former Biking @Dickinson interns, Espoir DelMain and Maddie Ritter with the help of Professor of Art Anthony Cervino.


6. The Kline Center

Directly in front of you at the end of D-Walk looms the Kline Center.  Since its completion in 2014, the Kline Center expansion has garnered more than a couple of accolades. The structure has graced the cover of Athletic Business magazine’s 29th-annual “Architectural Showcase” issue. The issue highlighted 61 athletics, fitness and recreation facilities from across the country, and the Kline’s presence on the cover is a testament to the project’s striking, modern design.Architect and Dickinson Trustee Sylvia Smith ‘73 has described how: With its open, light-filled design, energy-efficient systems and indoor-outdoor social areas, the Kline expansion blurs the lines between the natural and the manmade, and its visual extension of Dickinson Walk—a pathway through the heart of the campus—creates a clear straight line that connects the Kline Center to the rest of the campus.


When you reach the Kline Center, turn right onto Cherry Street, and then make your first left onto Louther Street, proceeding to The Goodyear Building.

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7. Spire

Standing to the right of the entrance to the Goodyear Building is a tall metal sculpture.  Spire was created by sculptor Matt Evald Johnson from formed and welded steel in 2011.  It was installed in front of the Goodyear Gallery in 2012 as a three-year loan.  In 2015, the sculpture was purchased outright and today it stands sentinel at the entrance to The Goodyear Gallery, home of many Studio Art spaces, including the ceramics, digital media, and sculpture studios, the Goodyear Gallery, faculty studio spaces, and Dickinson student studio spaces.


Continue along Louther Street to the corner, and turn right onto Cedar Street.  Proceed alongside the Goodyear building until you see the building below, which houses the Dickinson ceramics studio.

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8. Goodyear Ceramics Studio

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9.Ceramics Wall

Follow the driveway to the left of the Ceramics Studio into the back parking lot.  Immediately to your right as you enter the parking lot look closely at the back wall of the ceramics studio.

Can you find this squishy face? It is embedded in the outside wall of the ceramics studio along with many other miniature friends.  To learn the story of this wall, we turned to Brooke Wiley, retired Studio Art Technician at Dickinson.

It turns out, Brooke started putting stuff in the cracks a long time ago.  Then people in the studio started too, and visiting artists. Stuff showed up/ disappeared/ moved/ got cemented in/ broke purposely/ etc.  Eventually, everyone started calling it the Wall Gallery, and thus it has remained.

Which Wall Gallery character is your favorite?

Continue along The Gallery Wall into the open courtyard that houses the entrance to The Goodyear Gallery.

10. The Goodyear Gallery 

The Goodyear Gallery serves the Department of Art & Art History and the college community, by showcasing the work of contemporary and emerging artists as well as studio art senior seminar students during an annual exhibition that takes place each fall. Gallery programming is focused on providing support to classes in the department and affording students the opportunity to learn from working artists by installing shows and maintaining and curating the gallery space. Most exhibitions have opening receptions that include artist talks and are open to the general public.  Peek inside the windows for a glimpse of the current exhibition: The Clay Studio (until April 6) and Studio Post-Bac Bellle O'Shaughnessey (April 12-May 3) Gallery hours: Tues.-Fri. 3-5 p.m. and Sat. 2-5 p.m.

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11. Goodyear Plaza Sculpture

In the center of the open courtyard in front of the Goodyear Gallery you will find a large installation featuring the work of Shippensburg University Professor of Art, Steve Dolbin.

Dolbin is interested in the positive spiritual dialogue humans once had with the landscape. And the now toxic resource driven tragedy that has replaced it. This work is from a series that imagines our current civilization as a future archeological record. In this case, our "history" is reduced to a narrow geological strata of rubber. Fitting for a global economy driven by petroleum and plastics!

12. Goodyear Mural

As you exit the Goodyear Gallery take a moment to peruse the large colorful mural that spans the adjacent exterior wall of the building. This is called The Goodyear Project Wall, and is dedicated to large-scale public art projects that are collaborative in nature. For the past five years, artists have been coming to Dickinson to help studio art majors and members of the Arts Collective paint a mural on the wall behind the Goodyear building. Each visiting artist works with around a dozen students to design the mural, prepare and paint the wall and record the process.

North Carolina-based artist Joelle Dietrick grew up 25 miles from Three Mile Island, the power plant that is the site of the most large-scale U.S. nuclear disaster in history. She returned to the area to paint this mural on the Dickinson College Goodyear Project Wall from Sept. 28 – Oct. 3, 2021.

The mural includes an extinct plant from Pennsylvania (Elodea schweinitzii Casp. / Schweinitz’s waterweed) and a net-positive house in the same time zone (Chapel Hill, North Carolina) by Arielle Condoret Schecher. The concentric circles in the composition are a reference to Dietrick’s young daughter’s reaction to her three-country Fulbright to Germany, Chile and Hong Kong: never a great sleeper and slowly processing the idea of time zones, her daughter asked “if I were to travel at the same rate as the sun, would I ever need to sleep?”

The question stuck with Dietrick, evoking thoughts about our innate curiosity about the world, the internet’s escalation of that wonder, and its cultivation of excessive longing for other places.


Now, follow the sidewalk along the mural (running along the back of the Goodyear building) until you see the gate opening pictured below.


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Walk through the gate, and look immediately to your left as you enter the parking lot beyond.

Sometimes you can find art where you least expect it! 

The Volvo graveyard behind this fence gives Carhenge a run for its money.  Word on the street is that the owner repairs Volvos.

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Continue through the parking lot until you arrive back at Cherry Street.  Make a right and then an immediate left onto Louther Street.  If you’d like to complete just half the figure-eight (about 1 mile), you can return to the Weiss Plaza.

If you’d like to complete the whole walk, continue along Louther until you reach St. Paul’s Church,  make a left onto West Street along the left side of the street.  Just before you reach Locust Street, you will see a clue to our next stop on the side of a building:

13. Color Carlisle Mural, 2018

This mural is the result of a collaborative project between Color Carlisle and the Carlisle Area School District. Color Carlisle Mural Project is an unincorporated group formed to address measures for increased safety and awareness in various neighborhoods in Carlisle, PA. The goal, through a community art initiative, is to create sustainable living spaces by updating strategic locations with public art. Artist Ophelia Chambliss was the artist in residence for this project; she worked with portfolio-level art students at Carlisle high school and supervising the installation.


The project began as a checklist of the places and objects that Carlisle High School students considered important to the town’s past, present, and future. That checklist became images. Those images were revealed to the public in October of 2018.


The resulting mural features images of landmarks like the Carlisle Theatre and the Old Courthouse, as well as images symbolic of the area’s agricultural heritage and the iconic red Adirondack chairs at Dickinson College. Continue north along West Street until you reach West Penn Street.  Take a right on Penn and walking through Memorial Park along the path shown below:

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Follow the path until you reach the entrance to Lincoln Cemetery.  Take the left branch of the path, which will lead you to a new memorial for the soldiers buried in this cemetery.

14. Lincoln Cemetery

Lincoln cemetery served as the segregated cemetery in Carlisle for at least a century. The names within the painted flag recognize the fifty-two Civil War veterans buried here.


Additional names painted around the flag in a fan shape are the family names of those buried here.  The addition of these names and the painted sections of the plaza represent a recent initiative to encourage community recognition of those buried here, and to stimulate dialogue about how to memorialize them as vital contributors to Carlisle history.

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Pictured to the left are the close-up names. 

Exit the park south along Pitt Street and walk four blocks to Dickinson Ave.  Ahead on your left you will see the entrance to The Cumberland County Historical Society.  Just past the front doors is a black iron gate that leads into our next stop.

15. Vale Himes Park​

The small park to your left is the Vale Himes Park created by The Cumberland County Historical Society in 2018.  It is Carlisle's first pocket garden and features benches and a walkway with arrows that point to prominent county landmarks.  The green space is a sea of calm that encourages guests to wander in and stay awhile.

The park is named after two historic family lines. Sarah E. Vale was the granddaughter of Dr. Charles F. Himes, professor of physics at Dickinson College from 1865-1896. Himes served for a time as president of the Hamilton Library Association and Cumberland County Historical Society. Ruby Vale, a legal scholar is best known for his contributions to Pennsylvania law through the publication of Vale's Pennsylvania Digest.

Walk through the park and turn right in the parking lot at its end.  Proceed straight ahead to another small city park area adjacent to High Street.

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16. Molly Pitcher Mural​

As you walk into the small park space look up and to your right at a large mural on the side of a brick building.

This large black-and-white mural was commissioned in 2001 for the 250th anniversary of the founding of Carlisle and depicts people, places and objects symbolic of borough and Cumberland County history.

Artist Wayne Fettro of Elizabethtown was hired by the Cumberland County Historical Society and the Downtown Carlisle Association to paint the mural onto the brick wall. He started the project in late May 2001 and finished a week or so later. Images used in the composite depict the Old County Courthouse, Molly Pitcher, Jim Thorpe, the LeTort Spring Run, the Two Mile House and the view from Flat Rock at Doubling Gap.

These images are arranged into a collage that also includes a trolley and a man wearing a mortar board. The trolley is symbolic of Cumberland County’s role as a transportation hub while the man represents a history of education. Carlisle Borough is home to Dickinson College, Dickinson School of Law, the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks and Pennsylvania’s first public high school.

Exit the courtyard through the gate onto High Street.  Turn right and proceed to the corner.  Directly across the street, on the side of a building you will see a brightly-colored mural.

17. Resilience Mural​

The mural Resilience came about after artist Aron Rook, received a grant through the Community Partners Program to paint murals throughout Carlisle. Due to the pandemic and sheltering in place orders, she sought to offer a mural to help lift morale, hence the tiger in tribute to the “Resilience” that exists within each of us in the face of life’s challenges.

“The Carlisle community is my hometown and has been an incredible force of support over the years,” she said. “This project is an endeavor to give back and support my community as it has supported me over the years.” Rook references a study by the Center for Community and Economic Development, in central Arkansas, citing that “murals revitalize communities and aid in economic development.”

To those ends, Rook said, “I like playing my part in helping Carlisle prosper.”Continue along High Street until you are back on campus and standing across the street from the Weiss building where you began your tour.  Turn right through the campus gates and walk towards the bronze sculpture that appears ahead on your right.

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18. Benjamin Rush Statue

The statue of Benjamin Rush strategically stands in front of Old West, the original college building which he helped fund and establish. The casting is a modern version made from Roland Hinton Perry’s original bronze, which stands on the grounds of the Army Medical Museum and Library (formerly the Naval Hospital) in Washington, D.C.. The casting demonstrates the lingering Beaux-Arts style popular at the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. This version was cast from molds taken from Perry’s original by the Johnston Atelier.

Turn now to the building the statue faces, Old West.

19. Old West

Old West was designed by Benjamin Latrobe, architect of the United States Capitol. As the college grew in population and prominence, college leaders decided to construct a new “edifice” to serve as the center of campus-and to allow Dickinson to move out of the old grammar school that had been its home since its founding. Called “New College,” the building was constructed slowly, over a period of four years. In 1803, as the college prepared to settle into New College, a blustery snowstorm pushed through the Cumberland Valley, stirring some smoldering ashes in the building’s basement. The ashes began to flame, and before long the building had burned to the ground.

Despite the initial despair (Col. John Montgomery, a U.S. Congressman and longtime Dickinson trustee, wrote to inform Rush of the fire, lamenting that all of their hopes “were Blasted in a few minutes”), hints of good fortune soon began to ameliorate the situation. For instance, Benjamin Latrobe, architect of the U.S. Capitol, offered to draw up plans for a new college hall. And private donations from individuals such as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison ensured the reconstruction of Dickinson College in swift fashion. Though Charles Nisbet would not live to see its completion, West College–or Old West, as it’s commonly called–hosted its first classes in November 1805.

Congratulations! You just completed the art walk and hopefully have a greater appreciation for the rich visual culture of Dickinson College and downtown Carlisle.

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