Department of Cultural Affairs NYCulture City of New York Department of Cultural Affairs NYCulture City of New York

Percent for Art

   Julie Dermansky

Ocean Fence and Ocean Floor, Steel Fence and Decorative Linoleum Floor, 2000

    See Also Yellow Bird Floor

Ocean Fence and Ocean Floor

Completion Date:



Steel Fence and Linoleum Floor


8'6" x 350'


Beach Channel Day Care Center


44-22 Beach Channel Drive, Queens


The Edelman Partnership

Sponsor Agency:

Agency for Child Development

Design Agency:

Department of Design and Construction

Julie Dermansky created an ocean motif with waves and sea life in bright colors and transformed it into a linoleum floor that spans both floors in the day care center. When considering the primary users of the building, Dermansky decided to use the floor as her canvas, placing the art as close to the occupants as possible. The upstairs and downstairs have different characters spaced throughout the hallways as well as a bold design in both lobbies. The children will interact with the art with every step. The bright colors mixed with pastel will help bring this active space to life. Around the perimeter of the building, the artist added decorative elements to the fence reflecting the sea life motif of the floor and the nearby beach area. The steel cutouts were welded onto the fence and are comprised of 144 unique plasma cut sea creatures as well as individually cut lengths of waves that grace the top of the fence giving the artwork a sense of movement.

About the Artist...
"I have been creating things since as long as I can remember," explained Julie. Born 4/28/66, Dermansky committed herself to being an artist at an early age. Raised in Englewood, NJ, her earliest inspiration comes from the Cloisters and the Natural History Museum in New York City. She graduated from Tulane/Newcomb University with a concentration in ceramics and sculpture and was awarded the Watson Fellowship, which enabled her to travel for a year and visit monumental and architectural sculptures. On her return to New York City, Dermansky worked in the East Village before attending graduate school out west. However, New York City called her back. Dermansky lived and worked for ten years in a storefront studio on Elizabeth Street. There she worked on many large scale sculpture projects including a 100 foot long fence on East 12th Street and began showing her work both nationally and internationally. Requiring more space, Dermansky has since relocated upstate. At the same time she launched a Web site so people would still have access to her work. The Percent for Art Program was her first public art commission.

Artist Quote...
"I have always had the tendency to work large. Public art is the perfect venue for an artist with the desire to work in a large scale while at the same time allowing for the most interaction with the artwork and viewers as possible, so I found it a natural path to pursue. After visiting Gaudi's Gwell Park in Barcelona, I dreamed of adding something to the world that would inspire others, as his work had me. So much of the modern landscape is bland. Often I see the inside of tunnels as blank canvases waiting to be painted, and plain buildings as structures to be covered with sculptures. Creating work for a specific audience to enhance and stimulate their day to day experience is very satisfying to me, in ways the work I make in my studio for myself does not. Working on a large scale, for the public, is a way for me to give something back to the community and enhance the environment for those who come after me." -- Julie Dermansky, 2001