Wanek family, Ashley Furniture eternal flame sculpture placed at American HF Hall of Fame

HIGH POINT — The lighting of the newly installed Wanek family and Ashley Furniture Industries eternal flame sculpture will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, April 12, in a dedication ceremony in front of the American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame building at 311 S. Hamilton St. It is the first eternal flame in High Point.

Inspired by the coveted Affie award presented to each member inducted into the American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame, the Wanek family and Ashley Furniture Industries eternal flame “symbolizes the enduring spirit of the home furnishings industry and the inspiring accomplishments and innovations achieved by its leaders.”

The sculpture is surrounded by the Pathways of Honor courtyard.

“This inspiring eternal flame sculpture is given in recognition of our industry, partners and associates who have created a legacy of excellence,” said Todd Wanek, president and chief executive officer of Ashley Furniture Industries, a longtime supporter of the Hall of Fame and its leadership programs. “Our industry is one of the very few that is an eternal industry. People will always have homes and will always need furnishings to turn a house into our home. The home is at the center of life, and to us, our eternal flame pays tribute to the industry and our leaders.”

Hand-forged of steel and coated with a bronze finish, the sculpture is 10’2” high by 5’2” wide and is positioned on a pyramid-shaped stone base. The design consists of 20 metal “flames,” ranging in height from 1 to 6 feet tall, that are interlaced to form the shape which encases the eternal, gas-burning flame.

The eternal flame was designed and built by Brilliant, an international specialty fabricator and creative firm in Orlando, Florida, that serves the attractions, museum and hospitality sectors. A team of artists, engineers and craftspeople worked on the project.

“This will become the selfie that goes around the world,” says Karen McNeill, CEO and chairman of the Hall of Fame board of directors. “Marketgoers and the public that visit the Home Furnishings Capital of the World will take photos in front of this dramatic, one-of-a-kind landmark. It is designed to become a visitor destination and a differentiating feature that underscores the power and significance of the home furnishings industry.”

The Pathways of Honor features inscribed commemorative bricks and each brick “publicly memorializes those who have prepared the way for us and now will pave the way for future generations.” Bricks can be given over time and will be installed before each High Point Market. They can be purchased by visiting www.bricksrus.com/donorsite/halloffame .

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