HomeHaddonfield NewsHOST’s artwalk makes soft debut on Mechanic Street

HOST’s artwalk makes soft debut on Mechanic Street

Six pieces from Markeim Arts Center are now on display

Currently on display on Mechanic Street are six pieces from the Markeim Arts Center by Anthony Johnson, Brad Spence and Danielle Cartier. (EMILY LIU/The Sun)

Art has long been seen throughout the borough thanks to the Haddonfield Outdoor Sculpture Trust (HOST)’s downtown sculptures and the Children’s Sculpture Zoo.

The trust’s most recent project is the soft opening of a new artwalk on Mechanic Street, whose 50-foot wrought-iron fence will allow for art to be hung as it is in open-air exhibitions in Paris and Jackson Square in New Orleans. 

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Rather than having artists put up art and take it down every day, HOST’s solution was to print weatherproof digital reproductions of artwork to be installed along the fence. Though there are six pieces currently on display at Markeim Arts Center, the fence has the capacity to hold up to 50 depending on their size. 

“(We wanted) to display them to beautify the street and to bring attention to three entities,” explained Bob Hochgertel, curator of the artwalk and owner of King’s Road Brewing Company across from the fence. 

“We wanted to bring attention to HOST, to the organizations participating in the show and also the individual artists themselves.”

The new art will add to work already featured on Mechanic Street that was  created by Haddonfield Memorial High School students about 13 years ago, when the street was renewed thanks to a grant from the Department of Transportation. 

Unlike static ceramic tiles, the works on the artwalk will rotate over time, similar to some of the statues in town.

The Markeim Arts Center pieces – whose themes are bold and bright – display the work of Anthony Johnson, Brad Spence and Danielle Cartier, who did two pieces each. The hope is for each artwalk piece to have a placard with information on the size of the original, whether it is for sale and its cost and a QR code linking to a website. 

HOST founder Stuart Harting hopes for a larger artwalk opening in late fall, though no dates have been set. 

“What you’ve seen if you’ve been there (in Paris or Jackson Square) is that artists will go out on a daily basis and hang up their artwork on this wrought-iron railing, and some will paint on location and sell their wares,” explained Hochgertel. “They put it up and take it down every single day, (which can be) difficult to manage.

“Our solution was to do weatherproof digital reproductions of the artwork that would be installed on this wrought-iron railing much the way they do in Paris and Jackson Square New Orleans and display them to beautiful the street …”

Hochgertel also added that HOST will bring attention to participating organizations and also the individual artists themselves.

Following the Markeim exhibit, the community can look forward to seeing art by students in the high school’s National Art Honors Society Program. The idea is to have the pieces rotate out on an eight-to-10-week basis, though the program is still being developed and is subject to change.

In other HOST news, the nonprofit has recently added a new gorilla sculpture at the Children’s Sculpture Zoo and a new militia man near the Indian King Tavern Building.

To learn more about the artwalk or the displays, visit https://haddonfieldsculpture.org/sculptures/artwalk-on-mechanic-street-in-haddonfield-nj/



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