The Haddonfield Outdoor Sculpture Trust has purchased the “Low-Poly Open Heart” sculpture, created by M.L. Duffy, and located in the core of the downtown business district, for long-term display in the borough.
Created last year and placed on Kings Highway East at the intersection with the crosswalk to the west of Kings Court in March 2018, it was intended to remain in place for a short time, as with other sculptures commissioned by HOST – like the “Ballerina,” which will grace the southern entrance to Haddonfield until 2021.
To commemorate the new status of the installation, a plaque was added at the site on Thursday, Aug. 7.
“There’s a lot of things that drove this. When we say a ‘permanent fixture,’ we’re at the pleasure of the borough since they own the land. Until something else is proposed, it’ll be there, it’s not locked into perpetuity. We’d like to see it there long term,” noted Stuart Harting, HOST chairman.
“The reason why it’s there in the first place is that it publicizes the town, it establishes a visual meeting place. The fact that it exists in that space is because one side of Kings Highway is stronger from a retail standpoint than the other – and that’s why we have the heart on the opposite side, as a draw. It’s an iconic thing for the town, it can be remembered as a part of its identity.”
The heart was constructed using a 3D modeling program and constructed of aluminum diamond-plate metal, a reflection of Duffy’s longing for his wife, who at the time was visiting Japan for work.
During the HOST’s inaugural Valentine’s Day event last February, the heart served as a fitting backdrop as Mayor Neal Rochford presided over the marriage or vow renewal for more than a dozen local couples. Harting stated that HOST intends for this to become an annual event, and is hoping to double the number of ceremonies.
The trust was able to make the heart a more permanent feature with the help of a few donors, including: Joe Murphy, Lisa Wolschina, Bob Hochgertel, Zaffron Mediterranean Cuisine, William Heritage Winery, Evearts Jewelers, Oriental Pearl, Dennis Tully, Blue Sky Power and finally, one donation made “In Memory of Freda and Elliot Yampell.”
Though a little under six months away from the day where lovers’ hearts intertwine, neither HOST nor the borough has any events planned revolving around the heart.
“We don’t have anything scheduled between now and then, but I’m all ears if someone wants to come up with something,” Harting mused.
Harting also revealed that there are no current plans to purchase another existing borough installation and make it a semi-permanent addition. However, he did mention that Rowan College at Burlington County is planning to donate to the trust six sculptures it possessed from other locations. One of those is planned to be placed opposite Ludovico’s on Kings Highway West.
For more information about HOST and its sculptures, visit https://haddonfieldsculpture.org/.