In ‘The Boy Who Wanted to Fly,’ Sentrock Imagines the Origin of His Signature Bird Character

September 26, 2022

Grace Ebert

Photo by Steven Koch

Wander through Chicago’s streets, and you’re bound to encounter one of Sentrock’s signature bird characters (previously). Disguised in a red mask with big eyes and round, pink cheeks, the boy is curious, imaginative, and playful, often seen interacting with animals, daydreaming, or riding a bike. The fictional figure is also the artist’s expression of strength and hope, particularly as it relates to his own childhood in the Mexican-American community of the city’s Pilsen neighborhood.

An ongoing exhibition at Elmhurst Art Museum celebrates the character and his lineage through sculptures, installations, paintings, and murals. Drawing on Sentrock’s background in street art and graffiti, The Boy Who Wanted to Fly spreads several narratives across the galleries. A massive, ten-foot sculpture lounges on artificial turf, and smaller, colorful paintings help compose the figure’s origin story. At the center of one gallery is a child-sized birdhouse cloaked in the artist’s stylized renderings, with vibrant works on paper taped to the inside walls. Interactive lightswitches transform the interior into a vividly colorful playhouse. A final gallery culminates in a wall-sized animation that brings Sentrock’s work to life for the first time, and as a whole, the collection is an homage to Sentrock’s upbringing and “a gesture of compassion for his community.”

The Boy Who Wanted to Fly is on view through January 15, 2023. Follow the artist’s work and news about future limited-edition prints and sculptures—keep an eye out for a special merch release in the Elmhurst gift shop in early December—on Instagram.


Photo by Steven Koch

Photo by Steven Koch

Photos by John McKinnon

Photo by Christopher Jobson

Photo by Steven Koch

Photo by Steven Koch

Photo by Steven Koch

Photo by Steven Koch



Cranbrook Academy of Art Announces a Free Online Conversation Series About Graduate Programs

September 26, 2022

Cranbrook Academy of Art

Clockwise from left: Madeline Isakson (3D Design ’22), Julian Jones (Photography ’22), Erika Nj Allen (Ceramics ’23). All photos by PD Rearick

For nearly 90 years, Cranbrook Academy of Art has remained one of the nation’s most distinctive and celebrated graduate-only programs, and our students have helped shape the historical and contemporary landscape of art, architecture, and design. It is a place for those looking to graduate from their MFA or M.Arch program with a diverse series of options, from working in industry, launching an academic career, or opening their own studio practice.

This year, the academy is hosting a robust series of free online conversations with Paul Sacaridiz, the new Maxine and Stuart Frankel Director of Cranbrook Academy of Art, to assist those considering graduate school. Visit our website to RSVP for any of the conversations.

What Is Cranbrook Academy of Art?
4 p.m. on September 28, 2022
Get to know more about our programs.

Department Conversations
Hear directly from the artist-in-residence and head of each department in a conversation moderated by Paul Sacaridiz.
● 2D Design, Ceramics, Architecture: 4 p.m. on October 12, 2022
● Fiber, Painting: 4 p.m. on October 19, 2022
● 3D Design, Photography, Metalsmithing: 4 p.m. on October 26, 2022
● 4D Design, Sculpture, Print Media: 4 p.m. on November 9, 2022

Cranbrook Academy of Art Architecture Alumni Panel
November 16, 2022
Architecture alumni discuss what it is like to pursue a Master of Architecture at Cranbrook.

Information Session on Fellowships and Financial Aid
November 23, 2022
Meet with our staff to answer questions and explain the many options to finance your education.

Cranbrook Academy of Art Alumni Panel
4 p.m. on November 30, 2022
Hear directly from our alumni about what it is like to study at Cranbrook.

Student Life at Cranbrook Academy of Art
4 p.m. on December 14, 2022
Learn about housing, extracurricular opportunities, dining, and more.

Application Q&A
4 p.m. on January 11, 2023
Still have questions about how to fill out your application? We’re here to help!

Applications open on October 1, 2022, and they will be accepted through February 1, 2023.

To learn more and apply, visit




Join Us for A Colossal Workshop on Miniature Macramé with Agnes Hansella

September 26, 2022


All images © Agnes Hansella, shared with permission

Since her stunning trio of installations in Bali, artist Agnes Hansella has continued to delight us with her elaborate and organic macramé works. We’re thrilled that she’s joining us live from her home in Jakarta this fall for a virtual workshop on miniature macramé. During our hour-long session, she’ll teach techniques for crafting the miniature piece shown above using the larks head knot, alternating half hitch, square knot, wrap knot, and diamond stitch. She will also share tips for utilizing the same methods to create a larger-scale work.

Registration is open now for the October 29 workshop, and if you’re a Colossal Member, be sure to use the code in your account for $5 off. Ten percent of all proceeds from this workshop will benefit Refugee One.





Brilliant Star Trails Sweep Above a Fierce Tangle of Lightning in a Striking Photo

September 26, 2022

Grace Ebert

Image © Marc Sellés Llimós, shared with permission

Back in June, Marc Sellés Llimós photographed multiple instances of illumination in a single nighttime sky. From the village of Manlleu, Osona, where he lives and works, Sellés Llimós captured a fierce thunderstorm as it raged on the other side of the Serra de Bellmunt mountain in Carcassonne, France. The 380-image composite shows a brilliant tangle of lightning below sweeping star trails, produced with a slow, six-minute exposure. According to NASA, which featured the work as one of its astronomy photos of the day, the trails reflect the Earth’s daily rotation around its axis, and the extent of their curvatures represents the distance from the north pole.

Head to Instagram to purchase a print and to see an archive of Sellés Llimós’s photos.  (via Peta Pixel)




Vintage Baubles and Foliage Encircle the Enchanting Glass Dioramas of Artist Amber Cowan

September 23, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Fountain with Fans in River and Jade” (2022), flameworked American pressed glass, mixed media, 
22 x 19 x 6 1/2 inches. All images courtesy of Heller Gallery, shared with permission

In her solo show Gathering the Sky, Mining the MilkAmber Cowan emphasizes the legacy of color. Through intricately layered dioramas of pressed glass, the Philadelphia-based artist explores the histories of lavender, jade, and opaque white. Her assemblages meld custom and found pieces sourced from primarily defunct factories in the United States, many of which produced a specific palette of colors like the sky blue of “Ecco to the Bridesmaid: ‘I Know Not What Has Happened to Your Pod.” Comprised of two symmetrically shaped panels, the diptych blends an array of materials and generational references, including the 1992 Sega video game Ecco the Dolphin and the emblem of Louis Comfort Tiffany, the artist behind the iconic opalescent stained glass lamps.

Similar to Cowan’s earlier works, these new reliefs are brimming with foliage, flowers, and small baubles that encircle a scenic component embedded in the center. Figurative statues like the artist’s recurring bridesmaid character, miniature bird sculptures, chalices, and Greco-style columns infuse the pieces with narrative detail.

Gathering the Sky, Mining the Milk is on view through November 19 at Heller Gallery in New York. Find more of Cowan’s work on Instagram.


“Ecco to the Bridesmaid: ‘I Know Not What Has Happened to Your Pod'” (2022), 
flameworked American pressed glass, mixed media
, 33 x 48 x 8 inches

“Powder Box and Offering in River and Jade” (2022), flameworked American pressed glass, mixed media, 18 1/2 x 16 x 8 inches

Detail of “Ecco to the Bridesmaid: ‘I Know Not What Has Happened to Your Pod'” (2022), 
flameworked American pressed glass, mixed media
, 33 x 48 x 8 inches

“Hummingbirds with Column in Helio and Lavender” (2022), flameworked American pressed glass, mixed media, 
19 x 16 x 8 inches

Detail of “Powder Box and Offering in River and Jade” (2022), flameworked American pressed glass, mixed media, 18 1/2 x 16 x 8 inches

“Pen & Cygnet Swimming in Sky” (2022), flameworked American pressed glass, mixed media, 
21 x 17 1/2 x 7 inches

“Cherries in Milk with Creamer and Compote” (2022), flameworked American pressed glass, mixed media
, 19 x 16 x 8 inches

“Simplicity in Bittersweet Orange, Lemon and Mandarin” (2022), 
flameworked American pressed glass, mixed media, 
28 x 38 x 10 inches



Design Science

The Ocean Cleanup Conceptualizes Its Third Massive Apparatus to Remove Trash from the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’

September 22, 2022

Grace Ebert

Sadly known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a wide swath of ocean between the U.S. coast and Japan is an enormous vortex of trash. A gyre, or system of currents, surrounds the area and sucks debris and litter into its rotation, trapping hundreds of millions of kilograms of plastic waste within its 20 million square kilometers.

Back in 2018, The Ocean Cleanup engineered a slow-moving apparatus called System 001 designed to wade through the patch to retrieve garbage with a massive net. The nonprofit, which wants to remove 90 percent of floating plastic by 2040, is now conceptualizing its third iteration of the machine that will be the largest and most efficient model to date. “When it comes to cleaning the oceans, size matters,” a statement about the new technology says. “Bigger systems mean fewer support vessels, which are the main cost driver (and the main carbon emitter) in our operations. In short, bigger systems mean a lower cost per kilogram.” System 002 removed more than 100,000 kilograms of plastic as of July 2022.

In a newly produced concept video, The Ocean Cleanup suggests that System 3 will now be comprised of three vessels that rely on drones to identify waste hotspots. The ships will haul a massive 2,500-meter wide and four-meter deep net system that sweeps the targeted areas to gather debris and funnel it to a sizable retention zone. Once collected and hauled from the water, the waste is organized into shipping containers and sent for recycling or repurposing.

The Ocean Cleanup plans to create a fleet of ten System 03 machines in the coming months, which the organization estimates will be powerful enough to restore much of the area. You can follow its progress on Twitter and Instagram, and head to its site for occasional live streams.


A rendering of the retention zone

A rendering of the net

A rendering of the net