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Get Up Close and Personal with Michelangelo

Don’t miss the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get up close and personal with the drawings of this master! The holidays would be a great time for a visit with family or friends.

Michelangelo: Mind of the Master will be at the Cleveland Museum of Art thru January 5, 2020.

Seated male nude, separate study of his right arm (recto), 1511. Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475–1564)

I visited the exhibit earlier this month and truly enjoyed it. It was amazing to think I was viewing Michelangelo’s 500 year old drawings from about 18 inches away! His own sketch pad with partial figures and studies of a shoulder or the expressive bend of the torso.

Many drawings are shown in association with finished works such as the Sistine Chapel and the sculpted tomb of Giuliano de’ Medici. This allows you to see how Michelangelo prepared and planned his paintings, sculptures and architecture.

I’ve always found artist’s sketches to be more lively and interesting than paintings. You can see underlying structures and the artist’s thought process. Sketches also take me back to art school days when we had time to enjoy the feeling of chalk and charcoal on paper as our mind translated poses onto the page. 

The exhibit, showing 25 drawings from the Teylers Museum in Haarlem, the Netherlands, is the first time the works have been on view in the United States. The drawings are so rare because Michelangelo destroyed many of his drawings to keep others from stealing his ideas. Can you imagine what he produced in his 88 years that we haven’t seen?

Magical 2019 Holiday Party at Sainato’s

Sainato’s at Rivergate. Sainatos delivers the food at our regular meetings.
Photos by Janet Dodrill.

On a cold, crisp December night, with one of the best views of our beloved Cleveland nighttime skyline, this was a memorable holiday evening. Coming in from the chill (parking right outside the door!) and into the warm and tantalizing scent of a Italian food, we said “hello” to Judy (Membership Director) and Jim Beveridge who greeted us with festive smiles, behind them a table full of brightly wrapped gifts for the gift exchange. We’ve got to hand it to Spike for picking a really swell place to celebrate and mingle with our party-loving CDPUG members – some we only see once a year.

Ron Skoczen likes his present.

The service at Sainato’s at Rivergate (our main CDPUG pizza supplier) was fantastic, the buffet table was packed with delicious entrees like mushroom and pepperoni pizza, lasagna, stuffed mushrooms, risotto balls in sauce, and lots and lots of pasta. There may have been a salad. The dessert table featured a variety of Italian cookies with adorable melt-in-your-mouth mini canollis that disappeared as quickly as you can say “canolli”. While the restaurant was more crowded than our usual venues, the well-stocked bar was very easy to get to and the drinks were affordable.

Buffet table.

Before the annual gift exchange, Chris Woodman dazzled us with a couple of nifty magic tricks involving the eight of diamonds and Kevin Bacon. You had to be there. The gift exchange was full of surprises – some smiles, some puzzled looks, some trades – you can’t always get what you want. And, for an election night we can all be happy about, every one of the officers was voted back for another term, with Henry Lee volunteering for vice president – in fact, he was a popular write-in anyway.

Chris Woodman shows his magic card trick to Ron Skoczen and Jinni Fontana.
Mary Averill is super happy with her gift pick.

The CDPUG holiday parties get better every year, so make sure to come next year – and bring a gift. Happy Holidays to you and yours!

CONGRATULATIONS to all of our 2020 CDPUG Officers!

President – Brian Butkowski
Vice President – Henry Lee
Treasurer – Ron Skoczen
Secretary – Michael Schwartz

Also, a big THANK YOU to the following CDPUG members for volunteering their time:

Programming – Spike Radway
Membership – Judy Beveridge
Social Media – Janet Dodrill and Henry Lee
Blog – Chris Kaminski and Laura Dempsey
May Showcase Video Editor – Sarah Coggins


CDPUG members enjoying their meals and each other’s good company!

Cleveland Map Book Could Be Just the Perfect Gift!

front cover of Cleveland in 50 Maps
Published by Cleveland’s own Belt Publishing

Cleveland in 50 Maps
Edited by Dan Crissman
with Cartography by Evan Tachovsky and David Wilson

It is obvious from the multitude of successful local T-shirt businesses that Northeast Ohio has a lot of Cleveland pride. With so much interest in this city, Dan Crissman, Evan Tachovsky, and David Wilson – each with ties to the area – have compiled a visual presentation of just what makes Cleveland so unique. Using data gleaned from a multitude of sources, these three work together to clearly present a wide array of knowledge about this singular city. 

If you have a hard-to-buy-for Cleveland-lover on your gift list, this book is sure to be a hit this holiday season. It’s so interesting, you might just want one for yourself!

Coming in at just over 100 thought-provoking pages, this book is split into five logical sections: 

1) Physical Characteristics (including water features, borders, and flood zones)
Ever thought about what the tree coverage of Northeast Ohio is? How about the surprising vast differences in Lake Erie Ice Coverage over the past four years? You’ll find it here.

2) Infrastructure (like bridges, roads and car accident data)
Did you know that avenues run mainly east and west; with streets running north and south? I certainly didn’t, but for much of the city, this holds true. You’ll find out how much of Downtown Cleveland is dedicated to parking lots. Consider the answers to walkability questions like: who lives within 15 minutes walking time from: a supermarket, a farmer’s marker, a library, a theater. 

3) Demographics
Statistical data relating to Cleveland’s population and particular groups within it are apparent when seeing how the Cultural Gardens has grown as a beautiful tribute to our immigrant roots. Back in the 1930’s, Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC) unfairly ‘evaluated’ neighborhoods for mortgage lending risks and many of those designated areas have never recovered from this discrimination and still struggle with attracting investment. 

4) City Institutions
I learned that Cargill Salt Mine is nearly 5 miles long and dwarfs the downtown area. Founded almost a century ago, the expansion of the Cleveland Clinic is shocking from an aerial perspective. Think our city is saturated with breweries today? You should see how many there were in 1910!

5) Looking Forward
This section focuses on the opportunities for the city’s future and how investment will improve circumstances throughout the region.

Take 25% off* with code DEC25 at checkout.
Plus, free shipping! 

*Offer ends December 25. Unable to guarantee shipping on orders placed after December 18.

Belt Publishing is a small, independent press founded in Cleveland in 2013 as a platform for new and influential voices from the Rust Belt, the Midwest, and beyond.

Posted by: Christine Kaminski

Get a Clue, Buy a Gift & Save $!

Exclusively for CDPUG Members: Entertain your clients, friends, family and yourself with tickets to Clue at the Cleveland Playhouse. Special deep discounts on January 26, 30, or February 4 and 5.
Bonus Fun: Pre-Show Conversations happen 45 minutes prior to the start of each performance. Special talk back Feb. 4 @ 4:15 – 5pm.

Don’t delay! Offer ends December 11.

SUN JAN 26 | 6:30 PM
Discount Price $35 (usually $63)

THU JAN 30 | 7:30 PM
Discount Price $35 (usually $63)

TUE FEB 4 | 7 PM
Discount Price $35 (usually $75)

WED FEB 5 | 7:30 PM
Discount Price $35 (usually $75)

Wishing our members a happy new year filled with good health and good times. Get a Clue and start it off right!

Press Play! The Museum Transforms into the Open World Arcade

• Akron Art Museum •
Saturday, December 7
11 am – 5 pm

Join us at this family-friendly event 
and try out some of the most classic video games of all time, including 
Super Mario Maker, Tetris, Street Fighter II (on a giant screen),
4-player Zelda: Four Swords and more,
all on real, vintage console and arcade hardware.

Your ticket gets you
• Access to an amazing arcade of indie video and tabletop games •
(several created by local game designers)
• Access to the arcade of classic video games •
• Gallery admission to all of Akron Art Museum’s galleries
(including Open World: Video Games & Contemporary Art)

Choose from 3 arcade sessions:
• 11 am – 1 pm •

• 1 – 3 pm •
• 3 – 5 pm •
(you are not required to leave after your session)

$10/members, $24/nonmembers
Free for children 12 and under

(Children must be accompanied by an adult)

Open World Arcade is a perfect way for adults to connect
with kids & young adults who love technology.

Can’t make this event? See the exhibit!!!
Photo by Stewart O. Smith Jr.See more photos HERE!!

Character Study: Type Design’s Past, Present, and Future

Anna Richard presented an engaging overview of typography and type design at the October CDPUG meeting.

Her passion was quite evident throughout the talk. She started at the beginning, her beginning. From an early age she enjoyed math and rarely missed an episode of the TV show Numbers. Anna also enjoys art, creating her first book at two-years old!

At Kent State University Anna realized her analytical and artistic skills are great qualities for a type designer. For her first typeface design assignment she went above and beyond – creating an entire typeface – in one weekend. Her professor was amazed but then challenged her to consider how each letter looks next to each other.

This challenge started Anna thinking about the design choices faced when designing type. She presented a number of visuals illustrating what works and what does not.

Our eyes see horizontal lines as thicker than vertical lines. Optical corrections are necessary.
The H at right has been optically corrected.
Even though the lines are the same size the X at the left does not look correct.
The X in the middle has been optically corrected. Larger X shows how.
The tops of curves should be thinner. Tweaks are needed to make it look correct.
This is where the math skills come in handy.
Kerning takes the longest amount of time in the type design process.
Word Adhesion is the spacing between letters. Letter spacing is more important than letter design.
A well-spaced yet bad-designed font looks better.

Anna explained that typefaces are code. The current font standard, Open Type, is coded by hand in the computer language Python, a relatively easy language to learn.

She mentioned copyrighting fonts is easier in other countries than the United States. Evidently this is a gray area. Some larger U.S. corporations have been able to protect their unique font by trademarking the name of the font.

Currently the largest selection of online open-source (free) fonts can be found on Google Fonts. Designers are paid up-front for their font design but not per time used/downloaded. There is controversy in the type design community surrounding this. Some designers just want to give away their fonts for free exposure.

Anna has downloaded and used fonts only to find out later about licensing issues. Some fonts have complicated licensing such as not permitting use in logos or “high-risk” businesses like airlines. It is best to read the fine-print in the beginning than have a problem later. She indicates there are many inexpensive quality fonts and does not mind paying the designer for their hard work.

The first typeface Anna designed is Noether Sans. This name is a nod to the female mathematician, Emmy Noether. Fitting name since math plays a large role in font design. Anna admits that she may never be completely finished with a typeface. She is always expanding upon and improving the font.

Other fonts Anna has designed, Merci Beaucoup and Appalachian, are just used one time.
She prefers the term lettering for one time use fonts and typeface for fonts where all the letters work together (spaced properly and sharing the same design dna traits).

Anna worked at Google Fonts, first as an intern then a contractor. She designed the font Cutive Mono for Google. The team critique atmosphere at Google was a plus. She found their insights and advice most helpful.

Inspired by old Smith Corona typewriter type,
Cutive Mono has teardrop terminals in letters a, r and c.

Currently Anna is a graphic designer at designRoom where she assists with production and design on a variety of projects. She created the branding typeface, Rascal, for designRoom. Anna wrote a fascinating blog on design choices and thought process behind the Rascal font.

Named after designRoom CEO and Founder Kelly Farrell’s dog,
the Rascal font is used as an accent, complementing Trade Gothic font.

TypeCon is a yearly meeting of font designers and fans. Anna had a presentation there on the visual personality and history of handwriting and culture. In the 1800’s handwriting was based upon gender, education and class. Merchants wrote in legible fonts for bookkeeping, scribes in ornate blackletter for contracts, secretaries in script and women in “frivolous” fonts. This just enforced social classes.

Anna found alot of useful information on handwriting in the book Handwriting in America – A Cultural History by Tamara Plankins Thornton.

On to the present day, current studies have shown that 75% of the time people can correctly guess a persons’ gender after studying their handwriting. This holds true even across different cultures. Men’s handwriting is typically seen as slanted, spiky or rushed and childlike. Women’s handwriting is typically seen as curly, bubbly, fancy and neater. Anna emphasized that this is all just generalizations of course

Anna finds it fascinating that we continue to ascribe personality to fonts.

She mentioned some font trends including variable fonts. Not widely used currently they can be used in Adobe Illustrator.

Variable fonts can be altered by the designer setting the point scale, width and weight axis.
Merriweather is an example of a variable font. Fourteen people have been working for six months, so far, to develop this. Anna is working on periods to ensure they match the other sixteen styles plus light and black fonts.

Trending font design also includes the use of movement and color. Other upcoming font trends see a fusion of different cultures and styles blended to create something unique.

The Childish Reverie font has a color scheme ‘baked-into’ it.

Anna was generous with her knowledge and answered a number of questions from attendees.

To find high-quality fonts Anna suggested David Johnathan Ross’ website, for Mac users and 1001 fonts, dafonts, and Google Fonts for windows and Mac users. For fonts designed by small design firms or solo designers she suggests Creative Market. This is also a great option for fonts since they provide a default user agreement.

When creating your own font Anna suggested creating an imaginary company logo, then create a font to go with it. Keep in mind the considerations discussed earlier (spacing, kerning, similar style).

Anna finds inspiration for a new font with just one interesting letter or character. Popular for inspiration are the capitol R, lower case a or ampersand character. These all have straights and curves to inspire. Other inspiration comes from unique or foreign signage.

Spike Radway, Director of Programming for CDPUG, found inspiration from his font shirt and created a type face for the occasion. He also made a typeface for Anna.
Spike has on-topic library books handy, and always makes sure we have pizza and salad!
Way to go eating healthy Bill Kiraly!

Slides courtesy of Anna Richard.
Photography by Laura Dempsey.

Merchant of Venice Ticket Savings

Cleveland Play House is happy to offer the members of CDPUG discount tickets to the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program’s Class of 2020’s upcoming production of The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare’s most provocative tale of money, privilege, and prejudice.

Don’t delay – purchase these discounted tickets by Thursday November 7 and Tuesday November 12 to SAVE!

FRI NOV 8 | 7:30 PM
Discount Price $7.50 (usually $15)

SAT NOV 9 | 3:00 PM
Discount Price $7.50 (usually $15)

WED NOV 13 | 7:30 PM
Discount Price $7.50 (usually $15)

THU NOV 14 | 7:30 PM
Discount Price $7.50 (usually $15)

Enjoy an additional perk of being a CDPUG member and while also supporting live theatre. Take some time to enjoy a classic!

Energize Your Creativity – Creative Mornings

My first encounter with Creative Mornings Cleveland was at Edgewater Park on a beautiful August Friday morning.

Find a unique local venue and add a dash of music, 2 to 3 espresso shots, 60 or so creatives and one clever topic – mix well. This is the recipe behind Creative Mornings Cleveland, a group I have become energized by and enamored with. Anyone involved with CDPUG should check out Creative Mornings. Links to specific speakers Creative Mornings presentations are in this blog as well as here.

This group came highly recommended to me by my pal, Spike Radway of Team Spike Consulting. He admits “Creative Mornings has created a monster. I attended a Creative Mornings over three years ago. Robin VanLear, Director of Parade the Circle for the Cleveland Museum of Art, talked about Parade. Robin mentioned that there are paid workshops to teach non-artists how to make their artworks for Parade. I religiously attended those workshop sessions and the result of my efforts was ‘Spikezilla, the monster that creates art.’ “

Spikezilla in person at Parade the Circle.

Spike continues, “As the Director of Programming for CDPUG, I am always on the lookout for speakers and venues and Creative Mornings is very helpful in that way. I also attend Creative Mornings because I enjoy all kinds of art and not just graphic design. I have found artistic inspirations by expanding my point of view beyond the already familiar.”

Intrigued by the venue and the hopeful promise of a beautiful weather-day in Cleveland – I finally decided to give Creative Mornings Cleveland a try. I was blown away!

A brief musical interlude to open our creative brains.

Greeted by a friendly diverse group, given a delicious breakfast, informed of local happenings, entertained by musicians, had my faith-in-the-world renewed and creativity energized. All for free. Yes, you heard me, free!!

The speaker was Phoenix coffee buyer, Christopher Feran and his topic was “justice.” Covering how beans are harvested and its impact on the farmer, it was a fascinating talk on the global economic impact of one’s choices. Truly an act locally, think globally message.

With this first dip into the Creative Mornings Cleveland world I was ready for more. But, I had to wait, meetings are held the third Friday of the month. Each meeting has a different venue, subject, speaker and live music. Did I mention live music too!!

Thomas Fox, Cleveland host of Creative Mornings Cleveland at the Bop Stop

The next meeting was at The Bop Stop. It was another great bicycling morning so I was able to ride there as well as the first meeting. Sometimes I feel like a freak wearing obnoxious neon bike-safety colors, but not with this group – other people rode again too! After breakfast, live music and “espresso-shot” pitches/info, we were regaled with tales of the artistic journey of Lisa Quine, creative consultant who specializes in lettering, murals, illustration, and graphic design.

Every Creative Mornings topic has a corresponding locally designed postcard free for the taking. These postcards were designed by Nick Hafner (left) and Lisa Quine (right).

Where was this group finding these great speakers? I found out when I received a Nomination Night invitation. Held once a year, members of Creative Mornings are invited to submit speakers for the upcoming year.

Spike and I attended armed with speaker ideas to share. We met other Creative Mornings members that ran the gamut of artists to community activist, filmmakers and economic development leaders.

Nomination Night was bubbling with good food, art, music, creative thought and dancing.
Art abounds at Nomination Night – a silent art auction and art created before our eyes.

Each monthly Creative Mornings meeting covers a topic. Next years topics: purpose, stress, nature, transit, radical, insecure, invest, identity, underdog, roots and spectrum.

We populated the individual topic boards with speaker ideas written on post-it notes.

An ornithologist specializing in bird migration for the topic of transit? A death-care industry expert for the topic of roots? We were thinking about all our connections differently.

I am looking forward to the next Creative Mornings Cleveland, held the third Friday of each month. Are you ready to be energized and invigorated? Then join us.

The next Creative Mornings theme is Flow.

Creative Mornings Cleveland is part of a worldwide network of Creative Mornings groups.
Everyone is creative…. Everyone is welcome…

Thanks again to Spike Radway for recommending Creative Mornings Cleveland!
Photography by Laura Dempsey.
Spikezilla photo courtesy of Spike Radway.

Brilliant Savings $!

Every dark cloud has a silver lining. Take a poignant journey and save on selected dates of Every Brilliant Thing at The Cleveland Play House.

Don’t put off your purchase. Deadline to order these discounted tickets is Tuesday, October 22.

SUN NOV 24 | 6:30 PM
Discount Price $35 (usually $63)

WED NOV 27 | 7:30 PM
Discount Price $35 (usually $63)

THU DEC 12 | 7:30 PM
Discount Price $35 (usually $75)

SAT DEC 14 | 2:30 PM
Discount Price $35 (usually $75)

Join the Cleveland Space Apps 2019 Challenge!

Are you interested in space science and exploration?
Are you creative?
And do you want to solve problems?

If you answered yes to these questions sign up to participate in the upcoming NASA International Space Apps Cleveland Challenge. On the weekend of October 18-20, thousands of people from all over the world will participate in a global hackathon community that embraces collaboration across borders, sectors, and cultures to bring about paradigm-shifting innovation. Clevelanders are lucky to have a Space Apps event right here at the NASA Glenn Research Center!

During the 48 hour sprint, participants hack solutions to challenges that NASA proposes, creating games, smartphone and computer apps, videos, teaching tools, and much more.

The event includes:

• Presentation by Astronaut Douglas H. Wheelock

• Mixer on Friday October 18 
Join us at NASA Glenn for appetizers, beverages, and an enjoyable evening. The agenda for the mixer will be posted as we get closer to the event.

• Student Hackathon on Saturday October 19
Perfect for those who have never participated in a hackathon and just wanting to get their feet wet or those who are unable to commit to the weekend.

Space Apps introduces problem-solvers worldwide to NASA’s free and open data. NASA missions to Earth, our Sun and solar system, and out into the universe – all gather data in pursuit of new knowledge, to expand our understanding through new scientific discoveries, and to help us to improve life on Earth. By using NASA data to solve each year’s challenges, Space Apps teams learn about NASA’s data, and share in the creation and application of the knowledge that results.

Space Apps inspires collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking, fosters interest in Earth and space science and exploration, and encourages the growth and diversity of the next generation of scientists, technologists, designers and engineers. Space Apps is managed by the Earth Science Division, Science Mission Directorate, at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC.

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