A life-size ballerina sculpture was installed in a heavily traveled traffic circle in Haddonfield Wednesday. It joins almost 20 other rotational, contemporary outdoor sculptures in the borough over the past few years through a public/private art initiative. The bronze sculpture by Barry Woods Johnston is 6 feet wide (toe to toe), 6 feet tall (excluding base), and weighs more than 200 pounds.
Johnston drove the sculpture up from his Baltimore studio (it was cast in Italy) where Haddonfield sculptor John Giannotti and Stuart Harting, the founder and chairman of the Haddonfield Outdoor Sculpture Trust (HOST) helped lift it inside the “Welcome to Haddonfield” circle, at the intersection of Haddon Avenue and Ellis Street in downtown. He is lending it to the borough for the next two years through the Trust.
Harting says they are striving to make Haddonfield, already a walkable, attractive, and historically significant borough into a center for juried outdoor sculpture. The welcoming location tells people, “Haddonfield is not just about history and schools and celebrations but we’re also about public art.”
Johnston’s website says the piece “was inspired by an instantaneous moment seen years earlier in the Broadway production, Dance. The gesture is strong from every view. The commonality, the universal awareness of humanity that is expressed in this piece, of course, especially in anatomy, applies to everyone.”
The Trust is planning additional sculptures this year, including a work by Giannotti of a sled dog belonging to African-American explorer Matthew Henson, who made the 1909 journey to the North Pole with Admiral Peary. Giannotti’s Hadrosaurus dinosaur sculpture, installed in 2003, was the borough’s first, and is on permanent display downtown.