On Friday, Febuary 27, Park West Gallery received a fantastic comment from one of our VIP customers on a Customer Corner blog posting. The message was so heartfelt and appreciated that we are reposting it in full as follows. Thank you Patrick & Diane!
To whom it may concern,
My wife and I recently returned from our first VIP Cruise/auction at sea on the Carnival Miracle out of Port Everglades on Feb. 1–9, 2009. We have to admit, when Samantha first contacted us, we were very skeptical about the invitation. We had been to a VIP land auction at your Miami Lakes Gallery before but this invitation was very different with its offer of an 8-day cruise. After many question filled e-mails and phone calls to Samantha (sorry about that), we accepted the invitation.
Of course our first thought was of our past “time share” sales horror experiences. Boy were we ever wrong in thinking that. We ended up having the time of our lives meeting other people who shared our love for art and cruising to exotic places. But I think most of all we enjoyed the company of your fine Park West staff, seeing works of art we had never seen before, and meeting the special artists who sailed with us.
Getting to meet Simon Bull, Dominic Pangborn and Tim Rogerson was one of the coolest and most special things that we have ever experienced. Not only did we get to see some of their fantastic works of art but also we got to talk with them, hang out around the ship with them and watch them paint. What a thrill for all in attendance.
You don’t usually get to speak with an artist and find out what goes through their minds when they paint or what inspired them to create the beautiful works of art we got to see. Too many times, all we know about an artist is what we read in an art books or hear about in secondhand stories. Oh to have been given the opportunity such as this to speak with the likes of Rembrandt, Picasso, Mouly, Miro or Dali in such a fashion when they were alive. Each of our artists was very different in their approach to creating art but they all had the love of creating and appreciating it in common. That was the common thread for all of us in attendance. Truly an amazing experience.
We would especially like to thank our wonderful hosts for the trip as well. Chris, Samantha, Katherine and Rebecca went out of their way each day to make sure all of our needs were taken care of. Each of them had their own insight and knowledge regarding different art and artists and were always available to answer any of our questions. It was a difficult task to keep track of our group as we all had different needs and questions. They all handled a very stressful situation in a calm and professional manner. But the most important part of the whole experience was the fun factor, which was met every single day.
This was our second but most in-depth time spent with Chris. We were lightly exposed to his wit and knowledge at the Miami Lakes event. From the very first meet and greet at the hotel before the cruise, we knew we were in for a treat. Chris has the ability to make you think, ask questions, look at art and artists differently then you thought possible and most importantly, enable you to have a good time. Who could have guessed you could find Homer Simpson in a Tarkay original. If you haven’t seen Chris’s demonstration, ask him to show you.
It was very refreshing to see the Park West group during off hours (if they had any) around the ship as well. There was no talk of art (unless you wanted to) but pleasant, get to know you conversations and talk of other topics and experiences. We went from strangers to friends in a short period of time.
Learning can be fun if you listen and ask questions. Our Guru Art Guide, Chris, was more masterful than mystical in opening our eyes to appreciate the art world around us. The array of different art brought on board for the VIP auction was outstanding. We knew most of the artists but had never seen or knew of the existence of many of the works. For the first time we realized we were now collectors and not just buyers of art.
Again, Chris and his staff were there to answer any of our questions during the auctions. They all had the ability to advise us and guide us in our choice of art to collect. What was most satisfying to us was to hear all of them remind us many times to “collect artwork you like”. That is the key to the whole thing for us.
Our tastes are all over the spectrum as far as styles and artists. Attending the evening lectures on different artists’, styles, techniques and history really changed our opinion on art we would never have thought of adding to our collection. We have come to learn from past “regular” auctions to have open minds and not go with a shopping list of things we “need” to get at your events.
Over the years of buying art, we don’t think there is an item in our house we haven’t enjoyed looking at each day. It’s a pleasure to hear that philosophy being presented to us by your company even at the VIP level. We have decided it’s time to take our art collection to new levels so we will be exchanging some of our older art so we can add to our gallery of new fine art works. We hope they will find good homes and be with people who can take the same journey as we are on.
We are excited to receive our new artwork in the coming months. Again we thank Park West, Chris, Samantha, Katherine, Rebecca and everyone else we didn’t meet who helped make this a wonderful and memorable trip.
Patrick & Diane A.