photo of BEACON illuminating in front of Latimer House at dawn

Friday, 04/09/2021 through Sunday, 08/15/2021

BEACON is a temporary public installation inspired by African American Inventor, Lewis H. Latimer and his 1881 patent for the electric lamp and 1882 patent for processing carbon filament in the incandescent light bulb. The BEACON installation is a replication of Latimer’s mechanical drawing of the incandescent light bulb and carbon filament. The fabrication process is designed to align the Beam Center’s mission of bridging the humanities and STEAM disciplines to improve the conditions of our society with the living legacy of a local and historical pioneer. BEACON is a collaborative project between the artist Shervone Neckles, Beam Center and the Lewis Latimer House Museum (LLHM).

Watch the recording of BEACON’s virtual opening – a conversation with Shervone Neckles and the Beam Center, moderated by LLHM.

Shervone Neckles

…is an interdisciplinary artist, educator, and community worker. Neckles draws inspiration from the duality and transitional nature of her Afro-Grenadian American identity. Her work embraces collage, alternative printmaking techniques, book arts, sculpture, and social investigations.

She has participated in residencies as diverse as the Youlou Arts Foundation in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, WI; Wave Hill, NY; Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, FL; The Elizabeth Foundation’s SHIFT Program, NY; The Center for Book Arts, NY; The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, ME among many other residency programs. Previous awards include grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Queens Council on the Arts, Foundation of Contemporary Art, Puffin Foundation, Joan Mitchell Foundation, and fellowships from Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop and Manhattan Graphic Center.

Her award-winning work has been shown worldwide in both group and solo exhibitions and the 2019 Venice Biennale’s Grenada Pavilion. Her practice also includes curatorial projects; Amplify Action: Sustainability through the Arts with Pratt Center for Community Development and Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation in Brooklyn, NY; and From Taboo to Icon: Africanist Turnabout at the Ice Box Galley in Philadelphia, PA. Neckles has earned an MA from Teacher’s College, Columbia University, MFA from Queens College and BFA from The College of New Rochelle.

Beam Center

…empowers young people to do spectacular things and puts creative and technical production practices, collaboration, agency and real-world connections at the center of learning environments. Programs include in-school partnerships with 29 elementary, middle and high schools throughout New York City and an after-school apprenticeship and employment programs where teens learn in-depth technical skills and STEM concepts, and train for paid summer or after-school jobs.

Beam Center’s approach is drawn from its ongoing work at Beam Camp, a summer camp in New Hampshire in its 16th year, where young people collaborate with builders and big thinkers to build ambitious, collaborative projects created with traditional and advanced tools and technologies.


This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by Con Edison.