Sun Blocks
Reclaimed wooden wine crates, lumber, latex paint, nylon mesh
21' x 10' 2" x 11' 10"

Sun Blocks is a collaborative public art project between students from the University Neighborhood High School, teaching artist Chat Travieso, and classroom teacher Sylvia Herbold as part of Hester Street Collaborative’s Ground Up design education program. The installation is the culmination of a 15 week after school program with in which students learned about socially engaged design through an interactive curriculum in which they spoke to historians, architects, and activists to research the history of the area, its ecology, and current community issues; interviewed local residents and did mapping exercises to understand the everyday needs of the neighborhood; and brainstormed ways to make Pier 42 a more welcoming place. The result is a public art project the group designed, built, and painted. Constructed mostly out of reclaimed wooden crates and salvaged lumber, the installation offers shade and flexible seating for young people to hang out in the park and enjoy the view of the river. Hester Street Collaborative’s Ground Up program with University Neighborhood High School was funded through a Cultural After School Adventures (CASA) grant from New York City Council Member Margaret Chin and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.


University Neighborhood High School Students
Main group:
Willie Batista, Unitus Bright, Zoe Chang, Ashley Gomez, Alfonso Gonzalez, Tiffany Lam, Khadijah McBeth, Destiny Pattiasina

With help from:
Shandre Annikey, Ivan Aracena, Chris Bonifacio, Kevin Chen, Edward Fernandez, Sampson Garcia, Hector Garriga, Melvin Pantaleon, Anthony Placido, Elissa Silva, Melanie Tejada, Shanell Tufino

Teaching Artist
Chat Travieso

Classroom teacher
Sylvia Herbold

Special Thanks to:
Elise Baudon, Planner (Starr Whitehouse), Tara J. Hickman (Educational Associate, La Guardia and Wagner Archives), Damaris Reyes (Executive Director, Good Old Lower East Side [GOLES]), Laura Starr (Principal, Starr Whitehouse), Dan Tainow (Education Director, Lower East Side Ecology Center), Stephen Weinstein (Assistant to the Director, La Guardia and Wagner Archives)