Lane K. Berk, a civil rights and social justice activist who was also a patron of the arts, dies

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 02:50:49 PM. Lane K. Berk, a civil rights and social justice activist and a supporter of the arts who won a legal battle to keep a 10-foot-tall orange pylon that spelled B-A-L-T-I-M-O-R-E on the roof of her Federal Hill home, died Tuesday of heart failure. She was 89.
Lane K. Berk, a civil rights and social justice activist and a supporter of the arts who won the legal battle to display a 10-foot-tall orange pylon spelling B-A-L-T-I-M-O-R-E on the roof of her Federal Hill home, died Tuesday at that home of heart failure. She was 89. “She was one of Baltimore’s great characters, who had boundless energy — more than anyone I’ve ever known,” said former state Sen. Julian L. “Jack” Lapides of Bolton Hill. “I loved her, and she didn’t give up easily on any issue in which she was involved,” Mr. Lapides said. “She was a tough, unique and determined individualist and will be very much missed.” “Lane Berk was one of the most intense, complex, wonderful, and at times frustrating individuals I’ve ever known,” said Rebecca Hoffberger, founder and director of the American Visionary Art Museum. “She was passionate about so many things in life. She was a true blessing,” Ms. Hoffberger said. “She loved young creative people, and she pulled them around her. Lane Berk was certainly one of a kind.” “She was one of a kind, and they broke the mold when she was born,” said her daughter, Jennifer Berk, an artist who lives in Mount Washington. “She was a character, a presence, a force of nature, intelligent, brilliant, and she accomplished a lot of things.” Jim Burger, a Baltimore photographer and writer, got to know Mrs. Berk through the Creative Alliance and art openings. “I hear the term ‘living legend’ batted around all the time, but Lane truly was one. I’m...Read more
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