When Laura Berick moved from her home on Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights to Judson Manor, she felt like she took “one giant step, and here I was.” She’s never strayed far from the University Circle area, where she’s continually inspired by the cultural institutions and engaging neighborhood.
An Akron native, Laura ran a business representing artists for many years. Stepping into her apartment, you might think she’s an artist, herself, based on the colorful, eclectic contemporary and traditional artwork.
“I’m an artist here,” laughs Laura, pointing to her head. “I’m not a collector of specific kinds of artwork. My taste is all over the place. I react to art instinctively, and I get a kick out of arranging pieces. I enjoy playing with line and texture and seeing how items can play off one another. It’s sort of like painting for me. This apartment is my canvas.”
Many of the pieces have stories behind them. Her bedroom wall is a tribute to the black and white photography of her father, a long-time photojournalist for the Akron Beacon Journal. “He influenced me a great deal. I tend to look at everything as if through a camera lens.”
Other unique features of the apartment include a centrally located kitchen with shelves instead of cabinets. “I like to see everything,” says Laura. She also has a number of built-in bookcases in her living room and den, which features a large, round chandelier.
Beyond her apartment, Laura is embracing life at the Manor with her miniature poodle Charlie, who is quite the character on campus. “I walk through the lobby and other residents call to him—he’s licking hands and receiving kudos about how handsome he is,” says Laura. She and her furry companion quickly grew comfortable in their new home.
Violinist and Artist-in-Residence Tiffany Tieu walks Charlie every day and has become a close friend to Laura. “It’s like having a granddaughter here,” Laura says. “It’s quite a gift and another great benefit of living at Judson.” They get together frequently to cook and enjoy Asian-inspired dinners.
Since moving to Judson, Laura says she is making new friends, learning to knit again, and attending music performances. She’s also auditing a jazz course through Judson’s partnership with Case Western Reserve University.
Laura opted to move to Judson rather than make an “in-between” stop at a condominium. “There is no reason to wait,” she says, thrilled about this new beginning. She wanted to steer the move, and liberate her four sons and daughters-in-law from any burden of making a lifestyle choice for her. “I wanted to be in the position to take charge of my move, which is why I moved when I did.”