AS THE OCEAN-LOVING FIRST MATE OF TWO ALASKAN KING CRAB BOATS, JIM CLARK kept a fond eye on Red Hook while living in Williamsburg and Bushwick during the crabbing off-season. After a decade of calling Brooklyn home only part time, Clark ended his maritime career last year and finally settled in Red Hook, which he found to be the perfect setting for indulging another passion: Inuit art.
Look North, Clark’s flourishing art gallery nestled in the Fairway building, might be one of only two NYC galleries to carry Inuit art, and perhaps the only to specialize in the genre. The collection of work reflects Clark’s deep concern for the environmental issues affecting the Bering Sea, Alaska and other disturbed northern regions, and he donates a percentage of the proceeds from certain items to The Arctic Exploration Fund. Clark has found Brooklynites to be receptive to his cause, although European collectors currently generate the bulk of his business.
In its first year, the gallery has acquired several allies in its efforts to combat climate change, including Arctic Bear Productions and Al Gore’s Climate Project. To boost its authentic offerings, the American Natural History Museum recently purchased 18 pieces of Inuit art from Look North for its gift shop.
Discovery Channel’s popular reality series “Deadliest Catch” once checked out Clark’s boat in a Seattle shipyard, but rejected it for the show. The odd but believable explanation: they were running “too good and too safe of an operation” for the show. Clark says that although a few boats featured on the show are of quality, “They pick boats I wouldn’t want to cross the harbor in.”
“Half the battle as far as danger is what boat you’re on, and your skipper. Lots of problems are because of a bad judgement call of the skipper. You have to go out further now, one hour out from Kodiak [to find crab]. For snow crab, you have to go out 150 miles in the Bering Sea where there’s nothing to protect you. I saw 45-foot waves that look like little hills, not waves.”
In September, Look North will hold an opening for two artists recently returned from Greenland, including world-renowned fine arts photographer Rena Bass Forman, newly represented by Look North. A delegate from Al Gore’s climate change project will come down to give a presentation. For more information, visit www.looknorthny.com.
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PARK SLOPE RESIDENT NINA LOMBARDINO has been leading tours of the Prospect Park Zoo as a volunteer since 2006. Some days she leads elementary school classes, other times curious families, but soon she will lead a special tour: her 100th.
“My true loves are kids and animals,” says Lombardino, “and to see a child become amazed when I talk about baboon habits or the different kinds of tamarin monkeys that exist, really brings me a lot of joy. To do my 100th [tour] is truly amazing.”
For Lombardino, retired from the accounting industry, her first tour was to fill in for a volunteer who called in sick. She now works two days a week at the zoo and often does about two or three tours a day. Guided tours at the Prospect Park Zoo are free and scheduled in advance; to arrange one call (718) 399-7327.
WILLIAMSBURG’S STREETS will come alive over the next two weeks during the 121st Annual Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Saint Paulinus of Nola. The main event, the “dancing of the Giglio” will take place July 13, and again July 17, when 130 men will parade the 80-foot tall, three-ton Giglio through the streets from 1 to 6 p.m. The event celebrates the release of St. Paulinus, the Bishop of Nola, Italy, from captivity. Upon his return he was met by joyous townspeople who held lilies (“giglio” in Italian) as a sign of homage and welcome. This was cause for a great festival, which was brought to Brooklyn by Italian immigrants 119 years ago. For a complete schedule of events and masses visit www.olmcfeast.com. Our Lady of Mount Carmel is located at North 8th and Havemeyer streets.
BASED ON HIS EXPERIENCES visiting and speaking to different congregations, local pastor JOHNNY TURNER has written a book called “The Sacred Art.” He feels as though many churches aren’t as serious as they could be about developing individuals as disciples. Turner, a Georgia native, currently lives in Canarsie, works for the Department of Education and is a former pastor of Bethelite Institutional Baptist Church in East New York. Turner will discuss and sign copies of the book at Barnes and Noble, 267 7th Ave., July 10 at 7 p.m.
FIFTY-YEAR-OLD LINDA SWINSON of Sheepshead Bay, 46-year-old ADWOA NYAMEKYE of Flatbush and 34-year-old MOURAD DAHMOUN of Fort Hamilton recently demonstrated skills that would have been unimaginable just a year ago: They read out loud from essays, stories and poems that they had written. The three were honored for their literary achievements at the Literacy Partners Student and Volunteer Recognition Celebration. Caitlin McGuire of Dyker Heights was honored with the Staff Volunteer Award for her work as assistant director of education and her work as an after-hours volunteer tutor.
BROADWAY’S REPEAT STAR KERRY BUTLER, a Bensonhurst native, will help celebrate the 10:15 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony for the July 10 opening of the new TKTS Downtown Brooklyn Discount Ticket Booth.