Auctioneer Spotlight: Erhard Vermeulen and Lykleleen Myburgh
Many of our Park West collectors develop friendships with the art teams over the course of their land or sea vacations. Our Auctioneer Spotlight provides a chance to get to know them better as they share their favorite adventures in the art world.
Erhard Vermeulen and Lykleleen Myburgh are both from Cape Town, South Africa. Erhard was a successful account manager at Canon, while Lykleleen already had a foot in the arts industry through attending a fine art school and working as a marketing manager at an auctioneering firm. Both were happy, but wanted a life that was filled with the ability to innovate and explore to achieve their dreams. Since 2012, they have had very rewarding careers and are recognized as top auctioneers on one of the newest Royal Caribbean International ships, Anthem of the Seas.
Previous ships: Carnival Ecstasy, Holland America Eurodam, Crown Princess, Royal Caribbean International (RCI) Legend of the Seas, RCI Freedom of the Seas, and RCI Oasis of the Seas
Current ship: RCI Anthem of the Seas
What do you like most about being an auctioneer?
Erhard: There are so many things! We love introducing the art program to passengers for the first time! Almost every single cruise we hear, “Never in my life did I expect to have so much fun and learn so much at the same time during the auction.” Hearing those words make it so much more enjoyable to get on stage and share my passion for art with the audience. It is such a pleasure to auction off artworks to people who appreciate what we do. I also love to teach; therefore, it is wonderful to know that we educate people on different art-related matters and meeting all different kinds of people. It adds character, enjoyment and wisdom to our everyday lives.
Who is your favorite Park West artist and why?
Erhard: I definitely don’t have just one favorite artist. One of them is Joan Mirό. Every time I lay eyes on a Mirό artwork, I get absorbed into his compelling world of poetry. The more you look at it, the more you see. Another favorite, who needs no introduction, is Peter Max. I am mesmerized by his ability to innovate and bring different styles throughout the years as an artist.
Lykleleen: One of my favorite artists is Yaacov Agam. His artworks demonstrate his concern with time, movement, and viewer involvement. The viewer becomes a participant in the transformation of his works by moving in front of it, rotating it or by light manipulation! I think it is genius.
What is your favorite client memory?
Erhard: A few months ago, Mr. and Mrs. Hopkins sailed with us on Allure of the Seas. At one of the auctions, we offered a commission by Peter Max. Mrs. Hopkin’s bid card flew up in the air! That evening she came to the gallery and shared the story of the photograph she wanted to use. It was a photo of her son in U.S. military uniform. Janet had lost her son in the Iraq War. She was so excited to have her son painted by no other than the famous Peter Max and the entire experience was full of smiles and good memories of her son. Sharing that experience with her was truly special.
Then there was Mark and Randi. The morning of embarkation day, Mark and Randi were married in the chapel onboard RCI Allure of the Seas. They had a special request prior to the wedding for the Park West team to decorate the chapel with their favorite artworks. Together with their family, friends, a few Tarkay ladies, and sculptures by Agam and Max, Mark and Randi exchanged their vows. They are experienced collectors and it was special to see them incorporate their favorite artists as part of their special day.
What is your favorite port?
Lykleleen: Reykjavik, Iceland is an absolute must see. When I saw the Northern Lights and the Blue Lagoon, I was speechless. It is one of Mother Nature’s most beautiful treasures. We also like Alaska with its glaciers and wildlife. Here’s one tip: Don’t let the mountains covered in snow fool you. You can still get sunburned! Wear sunscreen!
Any big plans in the future?
Erhard: Lykleleen and I met six years ago. Two years ago we got engaged and we are currently planning our wedding, which is taking place on November 26th, 2016.