2HBThis is one piece of a new two-billboard public art installation downtown near the jewelry district — the work of two designers, RISD grads Calvin Waterman and Max Ackerman. (Before yesterday’s piece in the ProJo — “Artists pencil in creativity on billboards” — I hadn’t connected the Roxy Music song title to pencil lead nomenclature. Bryan Ferry was apparently having a little fun when he wrote his song. . . to Humphrey Bogart.) The artists used a personal connection to get temporary use of the billboard space.

After some long-distance give-and-take between the two designers — Waterman lives in New York, Ackerman in Providence — they came up with the idea for placing images of pencil parts on gridded backgrounds with no type other than the ubiquitous “2 HB” on the eraser end of one.

It’s an everyday object they expect passersby will easily recognize and get them thinking about how the city’s landscape is being erased and redrawn.

Big ups to ProJo photographer Andrew Dickerman for lining up both images in a single shot (hard copy only) standing at East Franklin Street near Friendship. I don’t know how he did it. More info and pix at the #2(HB) website.

pencil point

Pencil point near Claverick and Clifford Streets. The eraser end is at Friendship and Richmond on top of Club Karma.

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