Auctioneer Spotlight: Chris Carther and Soma Holloway

 In Articles, Cruise Art Auctions at Sea

Many of our Park West collectors develop friendships with the art teams over the course of their land or sea vacations. Here’s a chance to get to know them better as they share their favorite adventures in the art world.

Chris Carther’s hometown is Waterloo, Ontario, Canada and Soma Holloway is from St. Helena Bay, South Africa. Chris began his career as an international art dealer in 2004 after spending 10 years working as a musician and musical director on cruise ships. After helping the art teams with registrations, invoicing, and auction set up, he made the switch to art auctioneer. Soma began working with Park West after studying fine art in South Africa. The two met on the Carnival Breeze in 2014 and have been together ever since.


Chris and Soma make use of their new selfie stick while in Mykonos, Greece. Photo credit: Soma Holloway

Previous ships as Auctioneer: Royal Caribbean (RCI) Navigator of the Seas, RCI Jewel of the Seas, Monarch of the Seas, Celebrity Constellation, Celebrity Equinox, Carnival Cruise Line (CCL) Sensation, CCL Destiny, CCL Breeze, CCL Triumph, CCL Glory, CCL Conquest, CCL Paradise, and CCL Miracle.
Current ship: Carnival Dream

What do you like most about being an auctioneer?
Chris: Our favorite part of being auctioneers is helping people put together the best art collections they can and seeing how excited they get when they successfully win a bid on a new work for their collections. We also love that many of our collectors stay in touch with us and become friends that we will have forever. They aren’t just clients, they are friends and family.

What is your favorite guest memory?
Chris: My favorite memory was when I had a client from the U.S. Air Force collect Liberty and Justice for All by Peter Max, from the 9/11 suite. It was a very moving experience to see the emotion that these artworks evoke in those who have served in the military.

"Liberty and Justice for All" (2001), Peter Max

Liberty and Justice for All” (2001), Peter Max

What has been your favorite port?
Soma: Our favorite port is Istanbul, Turkey. We both love the culture and energy of this ancient city and our favorite stop was Nardis Jazz Club. If you love jazz, you’ll love this wonderful spot!

Chris, how was transitioning from working with music to the visual arts and how has it influenced your appreciation for each?
Chris: As a musician many of the same terms and ideas apply to the visual art world. Artists compose their works just like musicians do. Artists use brushes, stones and plates like musicians use horns, drums and strings. The colors artists use are like the notes of a scale. Each artist has their own unique voice, just like musicians have their own sound. After all, art is art, whether your canvas is the written word, a movie screen, the piano keys or a canvas.

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Showing 10 comments
  • Michael and Mark

    Just sailed on the Carnival Dream for Christmas and my fiance and I bought 2 Slava Ilyayev paintings from Soma. Soma was wonderful to work with and Chris was very entertaining during the auction. These two are a match made in heaven.

  • Galina Tacheva

    Dear Friends, it is an honour to work with you at Carnival Dream! It is a great experience to be around you two and to learn from you!Thank you for being so patient and professional!

  • John Koveloski

    Meet Chris and Soma on the Breeze,bought and am still enjoying my Britto that I purchased with their help!!

  • Trev and Di FRY

    Met these guys on Equinox during Med cruise may 15. Love our three Tarkay ladies and our two oils Anatoly .Wishing you guys all the best
    Trev and Di Fry

  • Arlene and Steve

    My husband Steve and I cruised with Chris and Soma in late 2014 on the Breeze, and were very impressed with Chris’ knowledge of art and wonderful demeanor and Soma’s warmth and friendliness. We ended up purchasing a number of pieces with their help that we are truly happy with, especially our Peter Max 9/11 pieces. They were wonderful, and a joy to get to know.
    Arlene and Steve

  • David Jefcoats

    We shared almost back to back cruises with Chris and Soma on the Carnival Dream and purchased some very intriguing pieces by Patrick Guyton and Chris Derubeis. We love them and will come again and again and again.

  • David & RandyLee Phaneuf

    Chris and Soma were one of the highlights of our Thanksgiving cruise. To say I’m a novice in the art world would be an understatement. They were not pushy at all and were more than ready to answer any questions we had. They gave us a little history on the artist and the work that we showed an interest in. We just received our art work and by the way it only took 6 weeks. We will remember the great times we had every time we look at our art work. Thank you Chris and Soma for making our trip so much better.

  • Jacob and Erica Paddock

    Just back from a fabulous cruise on the Carnival Dream, Chris and Soma helped to make our trip memorable. We really had fun learning about all the artists, the history, personal lives, their inspirations, and were fascinated by how much we LOVE art and never new it. We knew next to nothing about art or art history prior to this trip. Thank you to Chris, Soma, and their staff for sharing your love of art with us. You were all a blessing to us.

  • Michael Rusk

    Had the pleasure of collecting art through Chris and Soma on the Caribbean Princess February, 2018. They made it a lot of fun and personal as well. Soma helped with all the paperwork and frame selections and we really enjoyed having her as our guide in our foray into collecting.

  • Amy ASher

    Just saw the “favorite experience” by Chris, and it put a big ole lump in my throat. Being a retired AF gal, the works of Peter Max kept spoke to me. When Chris and Soma told the story behind the patriotic pictures, it touched my heart. Maybe it’s because Mr. Max’s talent connected a country during a turbulent time in history, or maybe I’m a closeted psychedelic hippy-dippy that wants world peace. Thanks Soma and Chris for making this a lasting memory. May the winds be forever in your favor. – A2 and KWA

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