Peter D. Gerakaris, Cosmic Bridge, 2019, acrylic on shaped dibond panel, PS 101 Addition, Brooklyn
Cosmic Bridge is a honeycomb-shaped mural installation in the new addition lobby and cafeteria of PS 101 “The Verrazzano School,” Brooklyn. Hand-painted by artist Peter Gerakaris, the mural spans more than 116 feet. Inspiration for the piece came from the school’s connection to the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano and the nearby bridge named for him. The resulting artwork serves as a visual and metaphoric link between past and future.
Historic references related to the school and surrounding ecology are interspersed throughout the panels. Gerakaris paid homage to one of the school’s alumni, Carl Sagan, and his book Cosmos, by featuring a galactic spiral and its aquatic counterpart, the nautilus shell, as the mural’s frontispieces. One side of the mural features galactic imagery while the other side features nautical imagery – referencing the area’s history as a maritime hub and seaside escape. Oysters and eagle wings call to mind the region’s indigenous Lenape, original wildlife, and ecosystem. Flora and fauna with symbolic importance to Brooklyn and New York are also included, such as forsythia (official flower of Brooklyn), roses (official flower of NY State), and the striped sea bass (official saltwater fish of NY State).
Finally, the honeycomb structure tying everything together expresses the creative potential of the bee. For Gerakaris, it represents “notions of science, community and the power of education to nurture independent thinking in children, as they eventually form the future of our collective society.”
Special ChromaDepth glasses are available upon request for a unique 3-D viewing experience.