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Artist and lighting specialist Bentley Meeker unveiled his latest large-scale installation piece The ‘H’in Harlem last month. The work, which illuminates 125th Street suspended under the 12th Ave. viaduct, is an oval made of 30 white LED lights with an “H”in the center made of white, full-spectrum plasma lighting. Designed to withstand hurricane force winds and extreme weather, the piece is visible, on a clear day, from across the Hudson River.
Manhattan Community Board 9, 125th Street Business Improvement District, West Harlem Art Fund, and the New York City Department of Transportation worked together to create the temporary public landmark as a representation of the rapid expansion and transformation of Harlem.
Meeker claimed the “H”does not exclusively stand for Harlem, but it is an ambiguous letter meant to stand for whatever its viewer chooses. He sees it as a beacon of hope and inspiration and a reminder of all that makes Harlem unique, and he and the piece’s supporters hope to make it a permanent installation.
In celebration of the installation and what it represents for Harlem, Margaret Forgione, Department of Transportation Manhattan Borough Commissioner, led a night of music, food, and praise for the work, followed by a ceremonial lighting of the piece by CNN Newsroom anchor and correspondent Don Lemon all hosted by Manhattan Community Board 9.
The ‘H’in Harlem”will be on view at the 12th Ave. and 125th St. viaduct through Sept. 25.