In 2016 Bentley Meeker, local Harlem resident and renowned lighting artist, illuminated Marcus Garvey Park for the annual Harlem Arts Festival from June 25th and 26th. Titled “Indigo,” for the latent colors found in full–spectrum light, Bentley’s work used plasma light sources. Spectrum is a particular characteristic in light to which New Yorkers are not accustomed, as NYC is lit almost entirely by mono spectrum light. The installation sat atop 5th On The Park, a 28-story luxury condominium located on the southeast section of Marcus Garvey Park.
“The inspiration of the project is the city at large, at night. It is a mono-spectrum world with light that is devoid of light and color. We adjust physiologically, but have no connective relationship to light at night. It affects our relationship to each other, to the city, and indeed to night itself. Is the lack of color spectrum responsible for behavioral differences among us? I have always been fascinated by the latent things, before us every day (or night, as it were) that affect us, and in profound ways. This work, titled ‘Indigo,’ will bring a soft oasis of full–spectrum light to the center of Harlem, my home. My hope is that by doing so, perhaps we can bring connectivity to night that we have not previously experienced.” – Bentley Meeker
Meeker has created numerous shows and works of art, including the Harlem “H”, a large public work suspended from the 125th Street and 12th Avenue viaduct; solo shows at the Core Club, the National Arts Club, and Gallery 151 in Chelsea; group shows at Gallery 151, Southampton Art Center’s opening exhibition, and again at SAC in 2015. He also created “Flame to Now IV,” a special exhibition at the the Breuer Building at the Whitney Museum of American Art and with the esteemed performance artist Carolee Schneemann, co-created the first work of art ever hung in the New Whitney Museum. In addition, Bentley has created lighting for the Temple of Transition, Temple of Whollyness, and Temple of Promise, all at Burning Man in 2011, 2013, and 2015, respectively.