Monday, December 1, 2008

Explore Terminal Tower's Secret Mansion!

This coming Saturday, the Cleveland Sketch Crawl will sketch its way through Terminal Tower's famed Greenbrier Suite! This secret residence was the home of the Van Sweringen Brothers (the developers who built Terminal Tower). It was built to rival the old mansions of Euclid Avenue...and is still a magnificent space. This space is not open to the public but will be open for those taking part in this week's Sketch Crawl. Don't miss this chance to explore the suite and sketch some truly hidden spaces of Cleveland!

Because of limited space on this sketch crawl, please RSVP to Josh Taylor ( if you plan on attending. We will meet in the lobby of Terminal Tower (right off Public Square) at 10am.

As always, the Cleveland Sketch Crawl is free and open to the anyone who loves to draw and explore! For more information on the Cleveland Sketch Crawl, log onto

Friday, October 31, 2008

2008 - 2009 Schedule is out!

The weather may be getting colder, but there is no need to be down. We have a whole line up of Cleveland Sketch Crawl dates set for the next 6 months! Check out your calendar and make sure you mark down these dates.

The Cleveland Sketch Crawl takes place the first Saturday of each month and we sketch from 10am - 12noon. While the normal meeting place has been The Arcade in Downtown, we will now be meeting at the location where we draw. For more information, you can always call 216-736-7799 and ask for Josh. Check below for details:

December 6th
Tower City Center
Meet in the Lobby of Terminal Tower
Sketch the holiday decorations and the crowds at the annual holiday shows. As a special treat, get to sketch through Terminal Tower's famous Greenbrier Suite. Make sure you RSVP to for this sketch crawl!

January 3rd
The West Side Market
1979 W. 25th Street
Bring in the new year by sketching the Saturday activity at the market. With the enclosed produce section and the impressive indoor market is the perfect winter locale!

February 7th
PlayhouseSquare Theaters
State Theater Lobby
These majestic theaters and all the interesting perspectives are perfect for exploring and drawing.

March 7th
Trinity Cathedral
2230 Euclid Ave
This is one of Cleveland's iconic churches and is the perfect location for a variety of interesting and challenging subject matter, for any sketcher!

April 4th
Old Stone Church
91 Public Square
The oldest building on Public Square is also the home to absolutely beautiful architecture and amazing stories. Don't miss an inside tour of this building!

May 2nd
USS Cod (the Submarine near the Rock Hall)
What better way to kick off the summer than to take a tour of the USS Cod and sketch the unique compartments of this World War II Sub.

November 1st Sketch Crawl

The November Cleveland Sketch Crawl will take place at the Dunham Tavern & Museum. The crawl will kick off (as ususal) at 10am and will last till 12noon. We will not meet at The Arcade first, everyone will meet at the museum. The address is 6709 Euclid Avenue (right across from Gallucci's).

We will get a tour of the museum and grounds before we start sketching. This location was a stagecoach house that was on the main road between Detroit and Buffalo, so this place has a ton of history and stories behind it.

Bring your sketch book, camera, pens, charcoal, pencils or whatever floats your artistic boat and we'll see you on November 1st at 10am!

Some Sketches from October Crawl

sketches by Richard Chodera

Friday, September 5, 2008

Almost forgot to share my sketch

This thing is a sketch crawl....and i haven't been sharing my sketches. Something is wrong with that!

Here is my sketch from last month's crawl. We were on Settler's Landing over near the Cuyahoga River.

Crawl through the Malls

The September Sketch Crawl is going to take place through Downtown Cleveland's Malls. No...i'm not talking about Galleria and Tower City...I'm talking about a Mall as in a large outdoor public space.

Downtown has 3 malls that make up one of the coolest spaces in Cleveland. Surrounding the Malls are the major civic buildings of the city: The Metzenbaum Courthouse, the Public Library, the Board of Education, Public Auditorium, City Hall and the County Courthouse.

While most people use the Malls as a cut through to get to other parts of the city....there are destinations in their own right and they have amazing elements to draw.

We'll be starting off at The Arcade as usual and working our way towards the Lake. The crawl starts at 10am and goes to noon!

If you are interested...there is an economic development event that is showcasing some of the plans that are being put forth in the city. It is at the Galleria at Erieview from 12 noon - 4pm. It costs $10, but you can see alot of the projects that are going on behind the scenes that are making Cleveland thrive....find out more info here 10,000 ideas

Friday, August 1, 2008

August Sketch Crawl....
...tomorrow (August 2nd)!

So get ready to start your Saturday off with a little drawing and city exploration. For the August crawl, we will be starting off at our old spot (The Arcade) at 10 am. From there we will stroll down Superior Avenue towards the Flats and the river.

While we've mostly been sketching the physical environment of the city, tomorrow, we will add an exciting subject to the mix....a pop-up dog park. The Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound program of Steps to a Healthier Cleveland and the Pop-up City initiative are creating a Pop-up Dog Park in the Flats this Saturday. Read more about the event by clicking on the graphic to the left. There will be a lot of activity that will create the perfect environment for quick sketching. A little different direction for the Crawl....but hey...different is good, eh?

The Sketch Crawl is from 10am - 12noon, so bring your friends or your dog and have a great time! You can forward this e-mail easily by clicking the link below.

Hope you see you tomorrow morning.

**If you come late to the Crawl and you still want to meet up with us. We will be near the RTA Rapid station on Old River Road, near the Detroit Superior Bridge, at 11am.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Free Subway Tours and Sketching

Hey everybody - it has been a long time since my last post. Summer is going well. There are tons of things to do this weekend with Independence Day and all. One of the hidden tours in Cleveland that not many people have heard of is the free subway tour of the Detroit Superior Bridge.

Three times a year the Cuyahoga County Engineers open up the lower level of the Detroit Superior Bridge to the public. This used to be the place that street cars would use to travel across the river, while traffic passed overhead. This space offers some of the most unique views of the city and is a great environment to draw in....tell your friends and bring them down this Saturday for a great time.

IMPORTANT: This Saturday (July 5th), we will be changing our meeting location for the sketch crawl to take advantage of this free tour. We will meet at the Northeast Corner of W.25th and Detoit Rd., at the west end of the bridge. We will meet at the funky public art installment right at the corner of 25th and Detroit. We will not be meeting at the Arcade like we normally do.

We will start our Sketch Crawl at the same time....10am and end at 12noon. If you arrive late and we have left the corner of W.25th and Detroit, we will be at the center of the lower level (over the metal mesh) at 11am. That way you can reconnect with the group. Feel free to stay as long as you like. The lower level of the bridge is open until 3pm.

If you have any questions...feel free to call 216-736-7799 and ask for Josh Taylor

For more information on the tours, check out this site
Detroit Superior Bridge and Subway Tour

Friday, May 30, 2008

World Drawing Day

Drawing Day 2008 June 7th is World Drawing Day! This is the perfect opportunity for our Sketch Crawl to be part of a larger event. If you attend the Sketch Crawl, or even if you do not attend the Sketch Crawl...upload your sketches to be part of this initiative.

Locally, we are also working on an archiving project with the Cleveland Public Library. It is part of a project called Downtown Through the Public Eye. When you attend the Sketch sure to scan your drawings and then email them to All Sketches will be archived at the Library's Downtown Branch. Once the archive grows to a certain size, the images will be part of a larger exhibit! This is an amazing project to be a part of and I hope you'll join in our effort!

June 7th Sketch Crawl

Hey everybody - the June Sketch Crawl is quickly approaching. Saturday, June 7th at 10am we'll be leaving from The Arcade (Between Euclid and Superior) and head towards the Gateway Sports complex.

We'll sketch our way past The "Q" and Progressive Field, and then head over to the Erie Street Cemetery across the street from Progressive Field. The cemetery houses some of the city's oldest graves and while it is in the center of the isn't a well visited site. There are tons of great perspectives to draw there. After we are done sketching, we'll stroll on over to Bricco, the new restaurant in Playhouse Square for a bite to eat, so bring your money and spend some time afterwards sharing your drawings and getting to know fellow artists!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Cleveland Sketch Crawl

Whew...summer is finally here. Of course, now that i say that...the weather will turn chilly and a slight frost will be in the air, but hey....that is life on the Great Lakes. I was just sitting next to a young guy from the UP of Michigan and he said they still have snow on the ground! Nothing like hearing that to make you appreciate what we have here.

Our next get together will be this coming Satuday, May 3rd. We'll be meeting as usual in the Arcade and then we'll be off to our location for the day. We will be crawling through the Malls towards the Lake, stopping at the Cleveland Convention Center and working our way towards the Rock Hall. This Saturday is the Diversity Walk and there will be thousands at the Rock Hall for the walk and 5k. Instead of just sketching environments, this will give us some different subject matter.

The weather does call for rain, but we'll wait and see. We'll have a good mix indoor and outdoor locations to draw in just incase. Hope to see you all there.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Cleveland's Crystal Palace

Below are some of the images from our last Sketch Crawl. Sorry to everybody for the delay in getting these posted! I've been in the midst of battling computer issues here at work. But I won't bore you with my technological issues.

Take a look at the great images of the Arcade below! This was a great day for sketching. There was an Obama ralley at the Convention Center and a good deal of pedestrian traffic was moving through the Arcade.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Sketching America's First indoor mall

This coming March 1st. We will be sketching one of Cleveland's most treasured landmarks, the Arcade. As usual, we will be meeting in the Arcade at 10am. Since we won't be leaving the building, don't worry if you are late. Once you arrive you'll see sketchers everywhere. To find out more about the Arcade, check out this link: Arcade history

Starting this month, we have a great partnership with the Public Library. They have agreed to let us use their scanners for people to make an electronic copy of their sketch. The Library will keep a record of each sketch as part of the Downtown Cleveland Alliance and Cleveland Public Library's "Downtown through the Public Eye" collection! So, stay a bit longer and record your art!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Crawling "quietly" through the Library

This past Saturday we crawled through the Cleveland Public Library. We started off by heading through the Special Collections room of the Old Building (where we all received an excellent self-guided tour book of the library complex. I highly recommend picking up a copy at the Library gift shop). That room really is an amazing place...Not many people know this but the Library has the largest chess collection in the world. The collection consists of dozens of chess sets on display, but also includes chess literature and other items (some on display, but most in storage). In addition, they have a number of interesting displays to take a look at.

The views inside the building and the views of Cleveland from the library are incredible to draw or photograph.

I focused my efforts on Brett hall...the main Reference Hall of the Library Hall on the first floor. This room is really stunning. The consensus was that we should definitely return to the Library for another crawl...i agree...there are so many unique perspectives and so much to explore. While i was talking with one of the Librarians, i discovered that the Map Collections room just purchased a brand new large format scanner that allows them to make to-scale copies of old maps. I can't wait to see which maps they are able to enlarge - what a great gift for someone!

After the crawl, i stayed later to do some browsing of their Plain Dealer collection. The Library has the Plain Dealer on file from 1850's to present! So i took out some microfilm from 1901 and browsed for some "current" events. Maybe i'm a nerd, but...that is really awesome that you can just waltz into the library and take a look at those old papers (the system is even set up so that you can take a scan of the paper you are looking at and then email it to yourself!).

Next Crawl: We'll be staying in the Arcade next month. We've been starting in the arcade...then traveling around the city every month. We should spend some more time in our amazing starting location! If the weather is nice, we'll also sketch the construction process on Euclid (even though construction sucks....i think that it is an amazing environment to draw in).

Monday, January 14, 2008

New Year is here....ok so its been here for 2 weeks now!

Its been a while since I last blogged. January's Crawl was a good was a smaller turn out, but we had a great day to draw in Downtown. The Christmas decorations and lights were in the process of coming down and as we starting our crawl in 200 Public Square, the large Christmas Tree was still prominently displaying in the center of the court. That "lobby" (i put it in quotes because its really more of a grand atrium) is an impressive space if you take time to appreciate it. There is an interesting public art installment in the center that depicts a progressive history of garden fountains and the greenery of the planters really does make you feel like you are in someplace other than Cleveland in January.

From there we hopped over to the Soldier's Sailors monument again. There is so much in that little quadrant...we just had to head back there. As always, the reliable curator was there with his pot of coffee and stories ready for anyone who asked.

*time for a side note: on Saturdays, Downtown feels like an explorer's paradise. The monday-friday workers are gone and the pace is much more relaxed. You can take time to appreciate the architecture, notice things that you've probably passed thousands of times, but have never had time to check out. In the case of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, you get far more than just a sense of get a sense of pride, heritage and intrigue. You realize the enormity of the Civil War, but as a Clevelander, you realize that the monument represents much more than just that. It represents an era of opportunity and progress. You realize that Cleveland, no matter how amazing it was.....was at its core a city built by people, the same as it is today. Therefore, no matter what the situation, we have the same opportunity to rise up and push our city forward past its dark days, just like they did over 120 years ago. I see monuments like the Soldiers and Sailors Monument and even other great buildings in our city as milemarkers that our city laid long ago to remind future citizens to push forward towards greatness and not mediocrity...that civic pride matters...and that involvement matters.

--- I know...a lot to get out of a sketch crawl! But hey, you never know what you'll discover down here!

Next Sketch Crawl: On February 2nd, we'll be meeting at the Arcade as usual at 10am. From there we will head over to the Public Library. We'll start in the old building and then work our way over to the newer branch if we have time. There is so much to see in the old building. I'm going to try and see if we can arrange a small tour of the library. That way we can see somethings we may have never discovered on our own.

For those of you that haven't come before...we'd love to have you. The Arcade is along Superior (Enter through the Hyatt Hotel entrances on 420 Superior Ave). We meet at 10am, on the first floor near all the old shops. We usually are seating in a small group in the center of the long stretch of stores. I you see a small group, don't be shy....come up and ask if you have the right group...we don't want to miss anybody. Important: We usually wait till 10:15 am and then we're off to draw. If you miss us at the arcade try to make it to the destination we've chosen for that month.

Look forward to seeing you all there! If you have any questions...feel free to email me at