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.
Luke Proctor has been an art auctioneer with Park West for more than 10 years, but had a knack for art from the very beginning. Luke immersed himself in art throughout his life, whether it was at his father’s ceramics studio, visiting museums and galleries, or reading from a library full of artists’ books.
Since last year, Luke has left his sea legs at bay and joined the Park West Gallery VIP Art Team, using his expansive knowledge of art to enrich the lives of collectors across the United States.
Current Position: Park West Gallery VIP Auctioneer
Where is your hometown?
Luke: I’m originally from Kingston upon Hull in the United Kingdom, but now my home is in St. Petersburg, Florida.
When did you start working as an international art auctioneer on cruise ships?
Luke: I worked my way up to auctioneer in 2006 after being lucky enough to work under some of the great Park West auctioneers. Before Park West, I worked in a different department on board ships, ran my own retail business, and worked in art galleries in Las Vegas. I’ve had the fortune to learn and work with amazing people in the industry, travel to stunning locations, and most importantly, I met my wonderful wife back in 2006—all things that would not have happened without Park West.
What do you like most about being an Auctioneer for the VIP Program?
Luke: I love hearing how much guests have enjoyed their experiences at previous events with Park West. So many great collections have begun with an auctioneer or gallery director taking time to make someone feel less intimidated about the art world. I love hearing these stories. I really enjoy working with the artists and getting to know them. They are all very humble and have persevered to get where they are today. Lastly, it’s a pleasure to work with such talented and passionate Park West teams. I’m honored to represent Park West.
Who is your favorite Park West artist and why?
Luke: This is like asking someone their favorite song or movie—just when you think you have the answer another pops into mind! Pablo Picasso, because it’s not possible to comprehend his creative output; Yaacov Agam, because I’m honored to represent a true living master; Robert Kipniss, for his determination and mastery of multiple mediums; David “Lebo” Le Batard, because I feel the depth of his art and his inspiration; and Tim Yanke, because he’s a legend. And yes, that’s five.
What is your favorite client memory?
Luke: First of all, to all my collectors – thank you. Thank you for taking time out of your vacation to join us for the auctions and seminars.
I was lucky enough to have my wife by my side, assisting me throughout my time on ships. I recall one woman on an Alaskan cruise. She was 84, travelling alone, and came in every day to talk to my wife. I felt her visits to the gallery were less to do with art and much more to have a cup of tea and chat with us. Every person has a story you don’t know and this woman led a rich and wonderful life. She still stays in touch with my wife via letters and sends us pictures of her art.
Out of all your adventures around the world—where is your favorite spot?
Luke: Alaska on a sunny day. Unbeatable.
What does life look like when you’re at home?
Luke: I love St. Pete! It has so much going for it— the Dali Museum, lots of art galleries, and a growing local food scene. Most of all, I just love being with my wife, eating home-cooked food, and sleeping in my own bed. These are all things that you will never take for granted after 10 years on cruise ships!