Tag Archives: art auctioneer

The Smell of the Oil Paint, the Roar of the Crowd

Park West Gallery, cruise art auction at sea
Written by John S., Art Director for Park West Gallery Cruise Auctions at Sea

Out of all the things that are said to me as an Art Director for Park West Galleries aboard cruise ships, one sticks out in my mind more than any other. Without fail, almost every week, it crops up in conversation between Park West Gallery collectors and myself. In some form it comes out as, “Wow, what a great job this is!” It is a simple enough statement and is easy enough to respond to on a very superficial level, but there is much more to it. People of all ages, art backgrounds, and nationalities say it, with a hint of jealousy or admiration in their eyes at times, as though they would trade a limb for a chance at such a profession.

In response, I smile and agree, usually throwing in something about being one of the luckiest people in the world. But after months of this same repartee with a hundred different faces, it really does make you think. At face value, this career path does look like a dream come true, ripe with travel and exciting new relationships every week, while being surrounded by world-class artwork every day. That is the surface level that all cruise ship guests immediately see, but in truth, there is much more to this life, both positive and negative. The travel is wonderful, but that traveling takes us away from loved ones for months at a time. Meeting hundreds of people every week is fascinating and unique, but at times it can be exhausting. The good thing is, there really isn’t a downside to being surrounded by artwork every day.

There are two sides to every aspect of life on a cruise ship, and as art professionals representing Park West Gallery onboard, there are even more complications at times. We are charged with both educating and entertaining strangers, regarding a subject that can be intimidating to many people. Sometimes we succeed, and sometimes we fail, but week in and week out, we keep trying. So therefore, the question that rolls around in my mind as I finish each week, as I balance my victories and failures against one another, is what keeps me going?

As I embark on a third contract with Park West Gallery, I can finally answer that question. This job may be full of the highest highs and the lowest lows, but I know what keeps me coming back for more. It is the light that flashes in someone’s eye when they learn something new during a Masters Seminar, or the awe on a client’s face when they come face to face with a three hundred and sixty year old Rembrandt etching. There is no feeling in the world like shaking a person’s hand after they collect a work of art they truly love, whether it is a Picot or a Picasso.

It is a rare chance these days to help someone add something not only to their own life, but also to their family for the future. Being a part of that connection, or playing any sort of role in that experience is a difficult feeling to describe, but it makes every “lowest low” worthwhile. That feeling is why we spend our Christmases in Cozumel, and our New Years Eve celebrations in the middle of the ocean. It is the same sensation that fills the room during an auction, the same breathless silence during a seminar when art history is revealed before people’s eyes. Quite simply, as my title implied, it’s the smell of the oil paint and the roar of the crowd. It is what I spend my life seeking, what I love more than anything to find, and what I’ll continue to search for on every ocean that will have me.
A Whole New World of Opportunity
As a global leader in the Fine Art industry, Park West Gallery maintains art galleries aboard cruise ships throughout the world and produces thousands of live art auctions per year. If you are interested in the opportunity to join our team of Art Auction Sales Professionals, please visit Plymouth Auctioneering at www.plymouthauctioneering.com.

The Year in Review: Top 10 Art Stories of 2010

Steve Bloom, Park West Gallery“Champagne” by Steve Bloom | Park West Gallery Collection

The New Year is just days away, but before we say goodbye to 2010 and raise our glasses to ring in 2011, the Park West Gallery bloggers decided to take a look back at some of our most popular art stories from the last twelve months.

Today, the Park West Gallery Blog boasts a whopping 700+ postings — a good portion of which were published during the last year. Using some trusty analytics, we’ve compiled a list of the most-viewed art stories posted on “The Official Blog of Park West Gallery” in 2010.

And now, for your reading pleasure…

The Park West Gallery Blog’s TOP 10 ART STORIES OF 2010:

1) Freud’s Influence on Dali’s Surreal “Dream” Painting
(Posted Feb. 9, 2010 / Read it now → )

2) Honoring MLK Day: Norman Rockwell and the Civil Rights Movement (Posted Jan. 18, 2010 / Read it now → )

3) Yaacov Agam and the Mystical Number “9”
(Posted Feb. 11, 2010 / Read it now → )

4) Pop Artist Peter Max Paints Taylor Swift
(Posted March 31, 2010 /Read it now → )

5) Art Gallery Finds Rare Chagall Painting at Auction 
(Posted Jan. 8, 2010 / Read it now → )

6) Focusing on Matisse as a Printmaker at the Tampa Museum of Art (Posted Feb. 15, 2010 / Read it now → )

7) Dalí + Disney = Destino (Posted Nov. 12, 2010 / Read it now → )

8) Wildlife Master Andrew Bone Paints a “Life-Size” African Elephant (Posted July 20, 2010 / Read it now → )

9) A New Approach to Joan Miró
(Posted Jan. 26, 2010 / Read it now → )

10) Art Auctioneer Series: Married Life at Sea 
(Posted Nov. 22, 2010 / Read it now → )

Park West Gallery would like to thank all of our loyal readers and we look forward to bringing you the most exciting art, artist and gallery news in 2011!

What was your favorite art-related story of 2010? Share it with us in the comments section below!
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Park West Gallery Co-Sponsors Benefit for Kids

Art and Bachelor/Bachelorette Charity Auction Raises Money for Back-to-School Supplies

On Thursday, July 19th, Park West Gallery co-sponsored the Nordstrom Network’s 11th Annual Happy Hour to benefit Children’s Home Society of Florida’s Back-to-School Drive. The event was attended by over 120 people, and featured a live Art and Bachelor/Bachelorette Auction.

Park West Gallery donated artwork for the auction and Park West Executive Vice President Stoney Goldstein was the guest auctioneer. 100% of the auction proceeds will go to purchase back-to-school supplies.

Children's Home Society - Stoney Goldstein & Todd NordstromGuest auctioneer Stoney Goldstein (left) and Children’s Home Society supporter Todd Nordstrom (right) stand in front of artwork donated by Park West Gallery.

“The artwork provided by Park West for the live auction was higher end than the items we typically receive,” said Sylvia Rosenwasser, Director of Development for Children’s Home Society of Florida. “Stoney was a blessing. His high energy and professional manner as an auctioneer, as well as his artistic ability in displaying the art helped kick our fundraising efforts over the top!”

“The combination of generous supporters, fantastic artwork, and an amazing cause like Children’s Home Society made this an exceptional evening” said Mr. Goldstein.  “And I have to admit, the bachelor and bachelorette auction was a lot of fun.  Who knows, maybe one day I’ll get invited to a wedding.”

The event also honored long time Children’s Home Society supporter Todd Nordstrom with a special award of recognition.  Rosenwasser presented the award to Nordstrom on behalf of CHS, with the inscription “Our eternal thanks for your 11 years of dedication to our children.”

Children's Home Society - Todd Nordstrom, Sylvia Rosenwasser, Stoney GoldsteinStoney Goldstein emcees as Todd Nordstrom accepts a special award of recognition from Sylvia Rosenwasser, Director of Development for the Children’s Home Society.

About Children’s Home Society of Florida
The Children’s Home Society (CHS) of Florida was founded in 1902 and is the state’s oldest and largest non-profit, nonsectarian provider of services to children and families.  CHS provides a wide range of social services such as: adoption assistance; foster care; a special needs daycare; a family visitation center; group homes and emergency shelters that offer temporary residential care for many young children and teenagers.  The majority of these children are abused, neglected and/or abandoned, those with health impairments such as HIV/AIDS and at risk children and their families.  CHS assists more than 2,500 children and families each month. For more information please call 305-755-6500 or visit www.chsfl.org.

About the Nordstrom Network
Licensed with Keller Williams, the Nordstrom Network is a team of realtors serving Greater Miami and Miami Beach exclusively by referral.  Founded in 1995, and with a mission to build its client base solely through word-of-mouth and solid relationships, the Nordstrom Network is devoted to serving its clients needs before, during, and after every real estate transaction. For more information visit www.nordstromnetwork.com.


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Royal Caribbean and Art Auction Crew Raise $20K for Charity

Park West Gallery, Royal CaribbeanThe Art Auction Team representing Park West Gallery aboard the Royal Caribbean “Explorer of the Seas” recently organized several events to raise money for charities in the ship’s ports of call. The fundraising activities conducted by art auctioneers and other cruise ship crew members generated over $20,000!

One of the most successful events was a Crew Auction to benefit an orphanage in Dominica and a children’s hospice in Antigua. All crew members were invited to attend the midnight event as artwork donated by Park West Gallery was auctioned along with many other great items, opportunities and services.

“When you consider that these crew members of modest means donated over $20,000 in a month to help children in need, it gives you hope for a better tomorrow,” said art auctioneer John Block.

The funds raised will be put to good use by nonprofit organizations sponsored by the ship as part of an ongoing commitment to its ports of call.

Read More: “Art Auctioneers Raise Funds for Charities” >>


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Need a New Career? Consider Becoming an Art Auctioneer!

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to work as an art auctioneer aboard a luxury cruise ship? The Park West Gallery Customer Reviews Blog is expanding to include some fantastic testimonials we receive from art auctioneers who want to share their positive experiences with anyone considering an exciting new career at sea.

Here’s what art auctioneer “Chris D.” had to say:

“Since I have joined the Park West Gallery team, I have had some truly amazing experiences. I have sipped espresso in Venice, shopped the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, dove in some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world, and met and worked with some truly fantastic people. I can’t think of anything else I would rather be doing!” Read the full entry

Plymouth Auctioneering accepts applications worldwide for Art Auction Sales Professionals to provide services for Park West®, the largest privately owned art gallery in the world. Successful candidates will see the world’s most exotic ports, learn to manage a business, meet world-famous artists, entertain international travelers, and gain invaluable knowledge about the history of art and how art has shaped every facet of the world.

Learn more at www.plymouthauctioneering.com


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Great Times at Park West Gallery Art Auctions

At Park West Gallery, we’re lucky enough to receive a steady stream of positive letters from our loyal customers. As a thank you for all of your kind words, we’ll be posting many of your fantastic comments at our Park West Gallery Customer Reviews Blog.

If you’ve recently cruised with Park West at sea or attended a Park West Gallery art auction we would love to hear from you! SEND US AN EMAIL >

 Karen & Lois (Louie) K. | Kissimmee, Florida:

Just a short note to let you know how great the event was. Both Karen and I had a great time. It was, as usual, great to mix with the artist and having one we have not seen before, Leslie Lew. I like her work, it is very different…”

Read the Full Park West Gallery Customer Review >

• Don & Maryann G. | East Setauket, New York:

Just to let you know, we had a great time on the NCL Dawn at the Art Auctions. Erica is on classy lady who knows her stuff. We love the ‘mystery works.’ We are very happy with our purchase and our raffle gift. Not to mention all the free artwork…”

Read the Full Park West Gallery Customer Review >

• David & Judy A. | Boca Raton, Florida:

We were on the VIP cruise last week and had an absolute ball. We have grown up over the years with Park West having met our first Park West Auctioneer whose name just happened to be Morris Shapiro. When we look back at our art we have bought almost all of our major pieces from you…”

Read the Full Park West Gallery Customer Review >


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Thoroughly Pleased With Park West Gallery (Customer Review)

There’s something about meeting an artist in person that makes collecting their art even more enjoyable. Through art auctions on land and at sea, Park West Gallery continues to fulfill our mission of bringing art to everyone, connecting art collectors with internationally renowned artists…
Simon (Art Auctioneer),

We just wanted to drop you this quick note to say how thoroughly pleased we were with the VIP event at Boca Raton Resort and Beach Club. Everything was so well coordinated and you and all the other Park West staff were so helpful, we really appreciate all of the effort that each of you put into the event.

We thank you for your help and advice in selection. Your knowledge of art work and price points is helpful. We were able to speak at length with Meghan at dinner and really enjoyed her; she will be a great asset to Park West. Tiffany, EJ and Sam were also very helpful. Chris Lindsay is now our favorite auctioneer ever, (and we’ve had a few) so we hope to see him again. We appreciated the humor and educational information that each of you brought to the auctions. Great job to a great team!

The amount of time allotted for viewing/auction, free time, and evening events was perfect. And it goes without saying that the Boca Raton Resort was first class.

We have collected numerous pieces by Dali over the years, many from Park West and are always looking to expand that collection so we were of course disappointed in our unsuccessful bid and also at how few were available. The consolation is that our piece by Leslie Lew will have special significance since we met her and so enjoyed her. And then there is…Marco, what can you say about Marco – he is so much fun! We so enjoyed meeting and spending time with him.

Thank you so much, Simon, for including us in this program. We hope to see you at another event in the future.”

Fred S. and Carol R.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin


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Park West Gallery Staff Was Stellar, Wonderful and Professional, Customers Say

If you’ve been traveling on the high seas lately, you may have seen or heard announcements for Park West cruise ship art auctions. As one of the largest art dealers in the world, Park West Gallery sells works of art through our galleries in Michigan and Florida as well as on cruise ships internationally. The next time you find yourself on a cruise vacation getaway, be sure browse the Park West Gallery Collection onboard and stop in for the auction!

THANK YOU TO YOU AND YOUR crew for a wonderful weekend. Everyone was friendly, helpful and professional. You all dressed great. It was a pleasure to be with you. Tell Albert Scaglione he has a wonderful staff and we appreciate all of you. We believe that the artwork we have purchased is a good buy, considering may of the pieces have your wonderful framing included. Tell everyone thank you.”

Don & Gerrie W.
Van Nuys, California

WHAT A GREAT EVENT you put on for us! And thanks also to the ladies, of course — and Dustin.

Rob, it was a treat meeting you. You do a great job running the auctions, but you also work so well with your staff and the guest artists. And you are a magnificent host to all the guests.

Roberta and I look forward to seeing you all again. We wish you success in St. Louis this week.”

Tim G.
Commerce City, Colorado


I AM WRITING THIS TO COMMEND Assistant Art Auctioneer Mario. I have been on 17 cruises and purchased art on almost all of them. My dad and I were so impressed with him that I purchased another piece of art.

I watched him work the room. He remembered potential buyers by name and also remembered which pieces they showed interest in. After a brief conversation, he approached me with exactly the piece I had in mind. His professionalism and recall was uncanny.

Mario demonstrates all the qualities of a good employee and a great auctioneer. He is a caring professional who puts people at ease. As you know, many individuals have never purchased art and are very leery. He handles them in such a way that they were not reluctant to make purchases.

To reiterate, congratulations to Park West for having such a stellar employee.”

Vince M.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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