The "H" in Harlem: Bentley Meeker. (Photo: Arnold Brower)
The neighborhood of Harlem, and West Harlem in particular, has a rich cultural history and has had a tremendous impact on the arts in all of New York City. The past five years have seen an increasingly rapid expansion of art, design and business in the community, and Harlem resident and artist Bentley Meeker has witnessed the transformation first-hand. In 2012, several Harlem community concerns approached him seeking his involvement to help celebrate the vitality and cultural strength of the area and honor its legacy as it continues to evolve. From these requests was borne the idea to create a large-scale, public art installation titled The “H” in Harlem.
This project literally illuminates the area from June 25 through September 25, 2014 with a giant letter “H”, surrounded by an oval, aluminum truss, suspended from the viaduct situated at 12th Avenue and 125th Street. In keeping with Meeker’s past work, there is juxtaposition of differing light sources within the work itself. The oval is comprised of 30 white LED lights while the “H” itself is lighted by white full spectrum plasma lighting fixtures. The “H” in Harlem was designed and engineered in conjunction with and certified by Theta Structural Engineers, and the structure itself is engineered to withstand hurricane force winds. All light fixtures are weather resistant.
According to Meeker, The “H” in Harlem “provides a bold creative statement that is intended to be a city-wide beacon for everything that makes West Harlem, and Harlem at large, great. But most importantly, what I am hoping is that this installation will bring attention to a community that is eager to embrace economic growth and positive social change while still celebrating its cultural heritage and diversity and strength.”
via The ‘H’ in Harlem by Bentley Meeker: Public art installation lights up Harlem.