An accomplished lighting designer and artist is shining the spotlight on his own neighborhood of Harlem with a new large scale work of art. NY1's Stephanie Simon filed the following report.
As Bentley Meeker gets ready to light up Harlem, the designer and artist lights up as well.
"This is the first time I have actually seen it laid out in its completion and I have to tell you I am really excited about it, really excited about it. I think it's going to be such a nice thing for the neighborhood," says Meeker.
Yes, Meeker is getting ready to put the "H" in Harlem with a massive steel and light sculpture that will be hung from the 125th Street viaduct. The Harlem resident hasn't had many opportunities to shine the spotlight on his neighborhood until now.
"I live in Harlem, I love Harlem. I see public art in Brooklyn, I see public art in Lower Manhattan and I see public art all over the world but I don't see a lot of public art in Harlem. I just wanted to do something for my neighborhood," says Meeker.
The West Harlem Art Fund approached him about creating a public artwork to celebrate the neighborhood. And let's face it, the "H" is just a good letter for hanging art.
"You will see a dead on oval with a 'H' in it from both sides and what really lent itself to this particular project is that the 'H' when viewed from both sides is exactly the same, I couldn't do it with a 'B,'" says Meeker.
Light may seem like Bentley's muse, but he sees it the other way around.
"If you believe what I believe, that the souls are light, then you've got light within you. So if there's a connectivity there, then I guess somebody's got to be the person that starting to really talk about that and that would kind of in a way make me lights muse now wouldn't it?" he says.
Up on the roof of Bentley's studio, the artist is testing the waterproof limits of the lights. The weather resistant "H" will be installed starting June 23 and lit up June 25 through September 25.