Charles B. Berk

Hewitt /
| 24 Dec 2022 | 02:48

Charles “Chuck” B. Berk of Hewitt died peacefully at home on Dec. 17, 2022, after a brief illness. He was 78.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Dec. 1, 1944, to the late Samuel and Ida Berk, Chuck moved to New Jersey in the 1970s. He spent much of his life immersed in the arts.

Before working as an artist, Chuck held several management positions at the former Lehn & Fink Industrial Group of Sterling Drugs in Montvale and Bendix Corp. in Teterboro.

After obtaining a master’s degree in visual arts from William Paterson University in Wayne, Chuck opened his full-service agency, Ads Up Creative Advertising and Marketing Concepts, specializing in packaging and literature design.

In 1981, he joined Ringwood Manor Art Association, serving as president in 1983-84, supervising two art galleries, theater and summer events, and founding the Young Artists Expo.

From 1982 to 1986, Chuck taught art at the Wyckoff Gallery in Wyckoff. In 1986, he served on the art faculty of SUNY Rockland Community College as an adjunct art professor of figure painting and life drawing until opening his own studio, Chuck Berk Contemporary Fine Art in Hewitt.

Chuck earned several awards for his expressionist and figurative artwork. He was a member of the National Society of Painters in Casein and Acrylics, exhibiting for several years at the society’s annual shows held at the prestigious Salmagundi Club in New York City and serving on their jury selection.

Chuck also enjoyed contributing his artistic designs to community projects and mentoring promising young artists. Selections of his work reside in the permanent collection at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art in Tarpon Springs, Fla., as well as at the National Museum of Racing in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

A true nature lover, Chuck moved from the city to a conservation forest in northern New Jersey, where he resided for 48 years, enjoying the wildlife, especially watching black bears play on his front lawn, wild turkeys running amok and foxes setting up dens in his backyard. He dabbled in the art of bonsai, practicing mindfulness, meditation and yoga, and extended his creativity into unique culinary dishes.

One of Chuck’s favorite quotes from “Zorba the Greek,” by Nikos Kazantzakis, embraces the essence of what he as an artist attempted to accomplish in his life. To all who knew and loved him, he accomplished a great deal, capturing the beauty of the world in his work. “We are all one, we are all one substance involved in the same terrible struggle. What struggle? Turning matter into spirit.”

Chuck is survived by his devoted partner of 20 years, Wendy Serratelli, as well as his brother Jerry; a nephew, Jonathan; his wife, Lauren; his great-niece, Alma, and great-nephew, Elias; several cousins; and numerous friends.

His family wish to thank Louis Suburban Chapel for providing the cremation service as well as a future venue for a memorial service slated for the spring.

Family and friends are asked to make donations in Chuck’s memory to the American Cancer Society or the National Wildlife Federation.