Mark SchwartzMark Schwartz

“If family is defined by generosity, loyalty and constancy, Mark constructed a family of many. Yet, we knew with certainty that the three of us were at Mark’s center. He fell in love with each of us in order: Tina, Sophie + Emma. Just as surely, we loved our man in black. Together, it has been a hilarious, exhilarating ride. We will miss you forever.
M + T = S + E.”

Bettina Katz, Sophie Schwartz, + Emma Schwartz

Focused on Images

  • Photo Submitted by Herb Ascherman (1981)
  • Photo Submitted by Herb Ascherman (1981)
  • Photo Submitted by Herb Ascherman (1981)
  • Photo Submitted by Herb Ascherman (1981)
  • Photo Submitted by Herb Ascherman (1981)
  • Photo Submitted by Scott Heller
  • Photo Submitted by Olivia Chartier
  • Photo Submitted by Sarah Kracke
  • Photo Submitted by Laura Ruth Bidwell
  • Photo Submitted by Howard Agriesti
  • Photo Submitted by Howard Agriesti
  • Photo Submitted by Howard Agriesti
  • Photo Submitted by Howard Agriesti
  • Photo Submitted by Howard Agriesti
  • Photo Submitted by Howard Agriesti
  • Photo Submitted by Howard Agriesti
  • Photo Submitted by Howard Agriesti
  • Photo Submitted by Laura Ruth Bidwell
  • Photo Submitted by Greg Oznowich
  • Photo Submitted by Greg Oznowich
  • Photo Submitted by Kaitlin Pethtel
  • Photo Submitted by Kaitlin Pethtel
  • Photo Submitted by Kaitlin Pethtel
  • Photo Submitted by Michelle Moehler (2004)
  • Photo Submitted by Michelle Moehler (2005)
  • Photo Submitted by Michelle Moehler (2002)
  • Photo Submitted by Chloe Koslen
  • Photo Submitted by Sara Hollabaugh
  • Photo Submitted by Maude Schuyler Clay
  • Photo Submitted by Lois Conner
  • Photo by Mark Schwartz
  • Photo by Mark Schwartz
  • Photo by Mark Schwartz
  • Photo by Mark Schwartz
  • Photo by Mark Schwartz
  • Photo by Mark Schwartz
  • Photo by Mark Schwartz
  • Photo by Mark Schwartz
  • Photo by Mark Schwartz
‘›
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Focused on Thoughts

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  • My remarks from Mark's Service...

    When Peter Lewis first hired Mark to design the Progressive Annual report in 1983, he was 25 years old. Mark, like many people Peter hired was typical — very young, very brilliant, very talented and an obvious risk taker. He produced his first annual report in 1983 for $3200.00!... clearly the best bargain any client ever received from Mark!

    I worked with Mark for the next 20 years on annual reports — choosing and commissioning artists to respond to specific themes and purposes to mirror Progressive’s culture and business objectives. We worked as a team, and team work meant achieving Mark’s vision for the year’s annual report. He took the theme, focused meticulously about detail, suggested innovations every year, and almost always persuaded us that his vision was the way to go. I remember one instance when he said to me, “You’ve got to help me on this one, Toby, because Peter is not going to like the color for the cover of this annual report.” Sure enough, Peter did not, I held my ground, said I LOVED the color. We went back and forth, Peter gave in, and Mark got his color. Year after year Mark managed to outshine the previous year’s report, marrying numbers, people, issues, and opportunities to photography, installation, and art. He made the smooth transition after Peter’s retirement to continue the legacy of annual reports working with CEO Glenn Renwick. Peter always said excellence was doing better than before. Mark excelled in just that way and blew every annual report out of the water. No wonder the reports have won 511 awards over the years. The current one for 2013 with ENGAGEMENT as its theme seems an appropriate finale of Mark’s work, as it is a stunning, remarkable, even magical accomplishment and leaves us all fully engaged.

    When I retired from Progressive, I worked with Mark and Peter to publish a book, “ART WORKS,” about Progressive’s art collection. That was a labor of love for Mark and me — so, so much fun.

    More than Progressive, its annual reports, and its art collection, Mark inhabited me with his excellent taste to the extent that anything that required a sense of design, I did not and would not do without Mark. When I open my desk drawer, Mark cascades out — my business cards in florescent green, an invitation to the opening of the Peter B Lewis Building which is a little wooden box with a sliding top and a metallic wave invitation inside, T-shirts from that opening with a Frank Gehry drawing, T-shirts emblazoned with “Risk, Learn and Grow,” buttons he made for a MOCA Cleveland benefit with my own Andy Warhol image, mugs with more Warhols and varying colors, posters…the list is endless.

    And Mark’s clever designs marked Cleveland. He etched the words Peter lived by in his own penmanship into the floor of the Peter B Lewis Building. His signage for MOCA Cleveland, and for many grand openings including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and The Botanical Garden show how Mark never settled for the status quo, and believed in pushing me, MOCA and many others to the highest possible standards. Cleveland is a better City for these standards.

    But most of all, beyond the art, I valued his friendship. Little did I know that when I spoke with Mark in June, it would be our last conversation. Since my retirement, Mark and I met at least once a year at Table 45 at the Intercontinental to talk about art, and mostly about our families and our lives. Mark, I love you, cherished our time together, thank you for helping me achieve so much.

    I will miss you so very much.

    Toby Lewis, Dear Friend and Client, 10.02.14

  • Here are my remarks from Mark's Memorial Service:

    It was a cold winter morning at Lake Cardinal, and I was about to board an ATV driven by Mark Schwartz. Sophie and I had only recently started to become close, which meant I was just beginning to spend more time with Mark, as well. And though he navigated his black range rover flawlessly, nonetheless, I felt as though he needed a warning.

    “Be careful, Mark,” I told him. “One day this ass is going to make me a lot of money.”

    Briefly, I wondered how he would respond. He was, after all, an adult—sort of, Sophie’s father and someone I would normally never dare to say anything about my ass to. The moment ended, and Mark’s booming laugh filled the air. Our friendship was born.

    Mark had decided I was all right, and could be let into the world of the Schwartz’s. This chaotic world had a façade of a loving, orderly and talented family. This resembled the inside, too, except now Mark was present, asking if juice, coffee or an ass whooping was how we’d like to start our day.

    My first impressions of Mark--that he was this big guy who was loud and in your face, always swearing and wearing black, who had no boundaries, remained unchanged. But my understanding of his complexities grew. I started to realize that he was extremely talented and had far better taste than anyone—something he was aware of, too—and that, unlike most parents, he wanted to hang out with us. And we enjoyed having him around. He turned every moment in a photo-op. When we walked by the Girls Gone Wild bus, Sophie and I simply laughed, but Mark saw the perfect backdrop for self-portraits. A tombstone store? Naturally, we had to stop to take a group picture. That was the thing about Mark. Wherever he went, adventure followed. He was able to see something ordinary and make us realize its potential for beauty and fun—exactly what I associated the Schwartz household with.

    Mark was unique in everything he did, particularly as the cornerstone of the family he so graciously let me into. The number of times Mark said “ass” and the physical and emotional injuries we had to endure so he could get the perfect shot, suggest Mark might have been the worst father ever. But his generosity and no bullshit attitude made him a dazzling force in his family. His pride and love for Tina, Sophie and Emma were always obvious. Since he had so much love, he offered extra love to those who were close—and I was lucky enough to be there when he did.

    I miss Mark already. I miss him when I enter a room where he should be and search for the loud, black mass that he was. I miss him when I think of all the adventures, which we were meant to take. I miss the person I was when I was with him. I am sad because I know it is an ache that will never go away. I know that I need to focus on what Mark has given me, instead of what has been taken away. He has given me a friendship that was unique and outrageous. Our friendship has changed me into a person who looks for beauty, and a picture perfect moment in the ordinary; into someone who swears more and tolerates bullshit less.

    So today we say goodbyemark.com and thank you. Thank you for making me laugh every moment we spent together and loving me more than I could have ever expected. I know that wherever he is, he’s tearing ass and wreaking havoc and I am positive he knows that we will continue to do the same here with loving and profane thoughts of him.

    Recently, I went through our old text messages and Facebook posts and found countless messages—almost always paired with a photo, and usually a selfie that Mark sent me over the years. Among the highlights was his request I go to prom with him, a picture of his favorite clam pizza from Pepe’s Pizza in Connecticut, with the demand that I ‘save him a piece,’ and a picture of a black man from the 70’s with an afro, onto which he had edited his own face. At the time, these messages made me laugh, but I now realize they are symbols of how much he cared, and the unique ways in which he showed his affection—sometimes ridiculous or inappropriate but always completely Mark. He acted like my friend, but watched over me like a favorite uncle. Our friendship was certainly rare; and I wonder if I will ever find one like it again. If he were here, he would probably say, “Bitch please, I’m irreplaceable.” He would be right.

    Olivia Chartier, Family Friend, 10.02.14

Focused on Words

Articles

Cleveland Graphic Designer and Arts Supporter Mark Schwartz has Died at Age 57

Cleveland Graphic Designer and Arts Supporter Mark Schwartz has Died at Age 57

“Mark Schwartz, the Cleveland graphic designer whose firm, Nesnadny + Schwartz, earned a national reputation over the past 30 years, died Sunday at the Cleveland Clinic at age 57 after a brief battle with cancer.”

Nesnadny + Schwartz Letter

Nesnadny + Schwartz Letter

“Goodbye, boss. We’ll miss your vitality, your political tenacity, your philanthropic generosity, your love of family, your lust for life, your humor, your mind, and the creative light you so generously shared.”

Guy Leaves $1000 Tip So Server Can Take Her Dream Trip to Italy

Guy Leaves $1000 Tip So Server Can Take Her Dream Trip to Italy

Does that handwriting look familiar? Could it be...? “This man who we have never seen before tipped her 1000 dollars for a trip to Italy. Walked out, not another word.”

Framing a Friendship

Framing a Friendship

“With Schwartz behind the wheel of his black Range Rover and Maria in back, Friedlander aimed his Hasselblad camera through the windshield at the ArcelorMittal plant, houses in Slavic Village and other subjects.”

More than Flattery

More than Flattery

“Three years ago, a representative from Clestra Hauserman’s Cleveland office heard about Nesnadny + Schwartz walking away with 10 of the 38 awards presented that year by the Cleveland Advertising Association.”

Intelligent Design

Intelligent Design

“Schwartz tends to attract clients who may have different backgrounds, personalities and professions but believe, as N+S does, that the work comes first—and that a little ruckus is part of the creative process.”

Mark, in a Word

Describe Mark Using One Word