Auctioneer Spotlight: Chris Veale
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 more as they share their favorite adventures in the art world.
Chris Veale is from Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada. While studying science at university, he began to take art classes; the classes ignited an interest and appreciation for art. Given his newfound love of the craft and his history of customer service, becoming an auctioneer was a no-brainer.
Previous ships as Auctioneer: Carnival (CCL) Liberty, CCL Victory, CCL Pride, Norwegian (NCL) Sun, NCL Gem, NCL Breakaway, Celebrity (CEL) Constellation, CEL Infinity, CEL Summit, Holland Amsterdam, Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas
Current ship: Norwegian Getaway
What do you like most about being an auctioneer?
Chris: There are many aspects of being an auctioneer that I enjoy. However, for me, the most rewarding part of my job is being on a stage and having the opportunity to entertain, educate and inspire people. Many people who come and cruise with us are new to the world of auctions. I feel such a sense of achievement and satisfaction being given the opportunity to share my passion, knowledge and wisdom about the artworks we have in our collection.
What did you do before auctioneering and how did that transition into your current career?
Chris: I’ve always been in the field of customer service, from working in my family’s restaurants to managing kids’ camps. Given my start in the customer service business at the age of 8, I’ve always had a skill in accommodating people and their requirements.
I graduated from the University of British Columbia in Kelowna, Canada with a Bachelor of Science. Alongside studying science I had the opportunity to take art classes – that really sparked an interest in this particular field. Being that I had acquired a skill in customer service and sparked an interest in the art world, I took the opportunity to put these two skills together and start a career travelling the world in something I felt very passionately about – art.
Who is your favorite Park West artist and why?
Chris: I enjoy many different artists for various reasons, but Picasso will have to be on top of my list. Picasso was a true genius with his creativity and the ability to continuously shock people with his breathtaking work. Picasso was often critiqued on his behavior as an individual but this would never dampen his status of undoubtedly being among one of the top artists of his time. He pioneered his own movement and now has just sold a record selling painting “Picasso’s Les Femmes d’Alger” for $179.4 million at Christie’s Auction House.
What has been your favorite port?
Chris: I have been with Park West now for six years and have had the luxury of visiting many different ports along the way. Nonetheless, I would have to say that the port I always thoroughly enjoy is Cozumel, Mexico. The weather is incredible, the food is local and exotic and I really enjoy the authentic feel of this port. Cozumel never lacks hospitality or culture from the locals. For anyone visiting this port, I would recommend renting a jeep and enjoying the freedom to truly explore the island and what it has to offer.
What is your favorite client memory?
Chris: It was five years ago. I had a guest from Baltimore on a cruise who had just lost her young boy due to a bad heart. This young lady came to me with zero knowledge of the art industry – or even Park West Gallery – but took great interest by coming to all our seminars, trivia and auctions. By the end of the cruise I knew of her story and that she had taken a liking to the Peter Max mixed media painting of the heart. Max had previously painted versions of the image for the Larry King Cardiac Foundation. The painting had a symbolic meaning, which touched her very close to home. Never thinking she’d buy artwork, she brought it home for its symbolic meaning. Aiding this young woman had brought such satisfaction to me, as I knew I had really helped her on a personal level.
Have you always wanted to follow a career path involved with art?
Chris: I am very passionate about sports. When I was a young lad, I dedicated all my life to basketball, with my goal being to play professionally in Europe. I eventually realized that I had other passions that would give me more opportunities in life – the chance to travel and interact with people, sharing my love of fine art.