Friday, April 8, 2011

Art Cruise Collectors Give Highest Praises to Park West Gallery

"Dear Mr. Scaglione and Park West Gallery,

I just wanted to take an opportunity to send my highest praises to your company and your art teams all over the seas.

My husband, Joe and I had never really been into art; we have been to a museum or two, but never really took an earnest interest in it. Our first encounter with Park West Gallery was in the summer of 2010 as we cruised aboard the Norwegian Epic. We were up late one night and decided to stroll through the art gallery. We came across a Scott Jacobs that just really blew us away and seemed like a perfect gift for my Dad. We decided to head over to the art auction the next day to get more information about the painting.

Park West Gallery, Joan Miro
"Le Lezard aux Plumes d'Or" by Joan Miro | Park West Gallery Collection
We came to the auction and [the art auctioneer] was up on stage doing his thing. Immediately Joe and I were sucked in and entranced watching [him] perform his auctioneering duties. He was so funny, engaging, and knowledgeable, you couldn't help but just sit and be drawn into the auction.

While we sat listening to [the art auctioneer], one of the art team members came up and asked us if we had any questions, at which point we began discussing the Scott Jacobs we had seen the night before. She pulled it up for us, it went across the block and we bid and won. Our very first auction and our very first real piece of art. What a thrill! :)

We stayed for the rest of the auction and ended up bidding on several more pieces including a set of Emile Bellets and Linda Le Kinffs and we even ended up winning a drawing and won ourselves a Krasnyansky! It was a very exciting day for us both.

Over the course of the rest of the cruise, we came to know the art team very well. We went to almost every auction and acquired a few more additional pieces, including an Alfred Gockel, a small Peter Max and our prized possession, a Joan Miro. Miro is my very favorite artist and really the only artist I knew anything about before our experience with Park West Gallery. Later in the week we ended up winning another piece of art, a beautiful Tarkay. It was an incredible week for us both.

The art team on the Epic was absolutely nothing short of incredible. [One of the assistants] was like a walking art encyclopedia, she knew everything about every artist and every piece we enquired about and never seemed to tire of our endless stream of questions. [The art auctioneer] entertained us all week with his incredible auctioneer skills, and [another assistant] was the accounting genius behind the scenes that helped us make sense of all of our financing options.

At the end of the week we had maxed out both of our Park West Gallery credit cards, but came across an amazing sculpture of 'Samuel the Poet' by Nano Lopez that Joe and I just absolutely fell in love with. With [the art team's] help, we were able to afford the remaining balance to purchase Samuel and he is now one of our most coveted pieces (aside from our Joan Miro). We just recently found out that Nano Lopez will no longer be creating any more Samuel sculptures and that they are completely sold out. Without the help of [the art team] we would have missed an opportunity to collect one of our most favorite pieces that is currently proudly displayed in our home. We are eternally grateful for their 'above and beyond' attitudes that made it possible for us to collect this piece along with all of our other cherished pieces.

We just wanted to send our highest regards and compliments to the Park West Gallery team on the Epic. They helped us begin our art collection and sparked a love in us for art that we thought was only reserved for the socially elite.

A few months later I received a phone call from a member of the VIP art team inviting my husband and I to embark on a VIP cruise with Park West Gallery in January on the Norwegian Gem. We of course accepted and attended the trip. Once again, my husband and I were just blown away by the level of service and personal attention given to each guest traveling with Park West Gallery. We really were treated like VIPs every moment throughout the trip.

Everyone one of [the art team] were absolutely amazing. They balanced a level of professionalism with a level of comfort, ease and genuine friendly rapport with the guests that I believe is a very difficult skill to master. In addition, they all were incredibly knowledgeable about all of the art pieces and never tired of our endless stream of questions and requests. They really went above and beyond to make us feel like VIPs.

One member of the art team sat on the floor of the gallery with me for almost an hour as I stared at several Miro lithographs discussing my preferences for each one. Another member of the team hauled pieces of art out from storage on the ship just so we could look at them in person. And most surprisingly, I even had to call one of the team members in their room on their one 'day off' (we didn't have any auctions or meeting or dinners scheduled for this day) and this team member STILL got back to me in a very timely manner. This team REALLY went above and beyond and every aspect of this trip had us feeling like complete and total VIPs.

Having the opportunity to meet the artists was an even bigger surprise and an unforgettable experience. Now, three months later, Joe and I are still in contact with all 3 artists we met on the VIP cruise. In addition, during this cruise we had the opportunity to expand our collection adding another Miro as well as two Dominic Pangborn's, a Yaacov Agam and a Fanch Ledan. It is so exciting to see our art collection grow and expand thanks to Park West Gallery.

One thing I would like to take a special moment to note is how significant it was to both me and my husband that we were not ignored by any team member of either art team (the Epic or the VIP team on the Gem). My husband and I are both very young (both of us are still in our 20's) and it's understandable to assume that we are probably just 'lookyloos' or simply there for the free champagne. ;) However, not once were we passed over or treated as though we were unimportant or 'too young' to be potential customers. It was this respect and attention that both surprised and impressed us even further with your art teams.

We now consider ourselves official 'art collectors' and are enjoying our new (and growing) art collection very much. None of this would be possible without the tireless efforts of your amazing art teams and your mission to make the art world more accessible to the everyday individual.

My husband and I both just wanted to write and send our highest praise to both art teams that we have had the pleasure of meeting so far and to thank you for creating such an amazing gallery. We eagerly look forward to enjoying many more experiences with Park West Gallery in the future and can't wait to see how you and your team members will continue to surpass our expectations.

Our fondest wishes and appreciation,

Kimberly and Joe M. (Proud VIP Park West Gallery members)"
Laguna Niguel, California

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