Haddonfield Outdoor Sculpture Trust chairman Stuart Harting was named the 2019 winner of the Alfred E. Driscoll Award for community service, and he was feted with a night in his honor on May 1 at Tavistock Country Club as part of the Haddonfield Civic Association’s Annual Town Dinner.
“When I first heard that I was to receive this award, I actually got a chill. First time in my life. So, it’s fair to say that I was thrilled, chilled, and honored to receive it,” Harting said.
Six years ago, Harting created the sculpture trust, “HOST” for short, a public/private non-profit entity working closely with the borough. Since that time, under Harting’s watch and due to his diligent efforts to seek out artists and to promote the borough as a locale to display new art, downtown Haddonfield has been populated with more than two dozen traditional and contemporary sculptures by internationally recognized artists.
This year, Haddonfield’s Board of Commissioners declared April to be Haddonfield Sculpture Month, which featured a series of free fun family activities each weekend.
The newest additions, which arrived two weekends ago, were a bright blue dog crafted by local sculptor John Giannotti, which is situated on the northeast corner of Kings Highway and Haddon Avenue, along with a sea lion, rabbit and frog in the new children’s sculpture zoo at Tatem Gardens fashioned by Philadelphia-based sculptor Eric Berg.
Residents of the borough and beyond who have not yet seen the sculptures in person can view them online at www.haddonfieldsculpture.org.
Among the thank-yous, well-wishes and platitudes that peppered his acceptance speech, Harting managed to drop a bombshell: revealing to those in attendance that HOST plans on inaugurating a “Sculpture-in-Residence” program on the Bancroft site once the requisite agreements between the borough, the school board and the site developer come to fruition.
“We’re planning for (it to be held in) the Bancroft carriage house. It’s relatively small, 1,000 square feet, but there’s enough for two studios: one that would be run and supervised closely by Rutgers University’s fine arts program and another one that would be run and supervised closely by the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts,” Harting stated.
“Each of these studios would be for a graduate of those schools, who’s already been out earning a living as a sculptor in the world. And we’re hoping that our agreement with the borough to utilize that space will transfer over easily when the school board makes the land swap.”
A native of Baltimore and resident of Haddonfield for more than three decades, Harting arrived in the Delaware Valley to attend Temple University and graduated from its School of Business. For the past four decades, Harting has worked as a real-estate broker and developer in the tri-state area.
In his free time, Harting has delved headlong into serving the community, having been a member of the borough’s Planning Board since 2013, a member of the Rotary Club of Haddonfield, a past member of the First Night Finance Committee, a lifetime member of the Historical Society of Haddonfield, as well as a founding partner of the Haddonfield International Exchange. He has also served as a guest lecturer at the Wharton School, Temple and Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business.
Further along in his remarks, Harting did not give full details, but provided a tantalizing preview of what’s to come art-wise to the borough before the end of the year.
“We’re going to continue to put revolving sculptures through town, and we’ve just been granted a donation of $25,000 from the Burlington County campus of Rowan University. One of the pieces that will arrive is done by an international sculptor who’s had his works displayed in 15 countries. So we’re looking forward to receiving a lot of these pieces,” he added.
The HCA additionally recognized three Haddonfield Memorial High School seniors with awards for their contributions to the visual, performing and written arts.
Mark Vaughn was presented with a $500 check for the Robert Bradshaw Memorial Literary Award for his essay, “Library Labor Lost.” Sophia Salvatore was given the Kaufmann Performing Arts Award, which recognized a senior who exemplifies twin passions of civic engagement and participation in the performing arts. Katie McCaney won the Quanci Visual Arts Award for her work entitled “Reflections.”
To find out more about past Driscoll Award winners, about the HCA itself, or how to become a member, visit: https://haddonfieldcivic.com/.