Inside the Park West Gallery on Norwegian Prima with Auctioneer Jared Hamer
The brand-new Norwegian Prima has officially been christened after enjoying a wildly successful inaugural cruise from Iceland, complete with live performances by Katy Perry, Kool and the Gang, Chaka Khan, and more.
During that inaugural voyage, we had the chance to explore Prima with Principal Auctioneer Jared Hamer. He gave us a tour of the new onboard art gallery and talked to us all about what the Park West Art Team has planned for Prima’s guests. It involves making Park West’s art auctions at sea even more fun, welcoming, and stunning than ever before AND even some exclusive works of art that will only be available on Prima. Enjoy these highlights from our conversation with Jared—and start thinking about booking a trip on Prima soon!
Who are some of the artists that Prima passengers and Park West collectors can expect to see featured prominently in the art gallery and during the auctions on Norwegian’s latest and greatest ship?
Jared Hamer: Park West has a fantastic long-term relationship with Peter Max. He’s an artist we always put front and center because people love him, know him, and are very interested in his work, his career, and his importance to the art world. Another artist we’ll be featuring on Prima is Romero Britto. He is the most licensed artist in history, having worked with brands like Volvo, Apple, Bentley, Pepsi, the FIFA World Cup (twice), the Olympics, and many more. He has a gallery in Miami but he’s originally from Brazil. Britto started on the streets than blew up into a massive icon. We have many of his paintings and sculptures on board Prima. There’s also the Colombian sculptor Nano Lopez who makes solid bronze sculptures using an age-old “lost wax” process. The details of his work are phenomenal, and people love it.
Additionally, there’s rock star artist Michael Godard, who recently cut his trademark long hair for charity—because he does a lot of great work with St. Jude—who is so well known for his paintings of whimsical olives, strawberries, and martini glasses. Prima guests will see a lot from these fantastic artists (and more) in our Deck 7 midship gallery and during the exciting auctions we have planned. We now have the largest auction space in the entire NCL fleet!
How will Park West make its art auctions and collecting art accessible for every Prima passenger?
Jared Hamer: We really work hard to make the auctions welcoming for newcomers. Even if you can’t afford a Max or a Britto, we have levels of art that are affordable for every kind of guest. That’s why we even always give away a free work of art at our events to anyone who wants one. We want people to experience collecting art no matter what.
Our “Mystery Program” is another great way we get people excited. It’s one of the most popular parts of our auction—it’s like the old “What’s Behind Door #1” game. There’s a mystery artwork that I select—it’s usually one of my best recommendations—and we bring it out on stage at auction, but it’s turned backward, so no one can see what artwork it is. I then offer a very affordable fixed price, I tease them a little, tell them the art style, maybe allude to the artist, and, if they’re interested in it, all they have to do is raise their bid cards. It just lets us know if they’re interested. If the guest likes the art once it’s revealed, they can come to the art gallery later to learn more about the artist and style, see the work up close, and decide if it is right for them. There is no obligation and, the great thing is, it gets people participating and breaks down some of their boundaries. We want to make their experience with our Art Team very pleasant, casual, and rewarding.
What kind of art seminars will be on Prima?
Jared Hamer: Art seminars are usually the first events we hold during a cruise, even before the auctions. I often start with a seminar called “30,000 Years of Art History,” which begins with cave art and goes all the way up to pop and modern art. At this seminar, we talk about artists like Vincent Van Gogh, who wasn’t a huge success during his lifetime. The great artist Monet said that “Being creative takes courage,” so we like to talk about how non-traditional artists like Van Gogh, with his radical brushstrokes, are often the ones who face adversity yet ultimately are the ones who also end up making history. A modern equivalent would be someone like Kre8, who started as a tattoo and graffiti artist—he doesn’t look like a traditional fine artist—and yet he’s now beloved, breaking records all over, and he’s one of Park West’s top sellers.
We do these seminars to give people an education on art and art history, but, when it comes to collecting, the most important thing is… people should collect the kind of art that they love. My team and I want to hear about what guests love about a work of art, what draws them to it, and then we can give them background on the artist, why they created the work, and figure out if it’s a good fit. Additionally, Prima passengers can look forward to our really special Thomas Kinkade seminar and our “Art of Collecting” seminar, which discusses the different levels of collecting, explaining the various kinds of art we offer, and what makes something a true one-of-a-kind work of art.
How much artwork is on board Prima and is there any art that is exclusive to Prima?
Jared Hamer: There are currently over 600 works of art and 50 sculptures on board Norwegian Prima right now, but our collection is growing. One thing about Prima is that we have a unique collection that you won’t find on any other ship. Our Peter Max serigraph collection is totally unique to Prima, for example. We personally curate our collection, because we want to create a boutique experience for our guests. So, if you’re new to collecting or even if you have a house full of Park West art, you can come tour the Prima gallery, talk to us, and we’ll help you find something you haven’t seen before or can’t get anywhere else. And, because we have such a great collection on Prima, we will be changing out the artwork in the gallery daily, giving guests new colors, shapes, figures, and sculptures to see every single day of their cruise.
Where will the auctions be held on Norwegian Prima?
Jared Hamer: The art auctions will be held on Deck 6 forward in the stately and stunning Commodore Room, beneath the art gallery. We will move all the tables and chairs around in this exquisite dining room. It’s the largest auction venue we have, in fact, larger than any of the Breakaway Class ships. It’s comfortable, quiet, and beautiful—perfect for art auctions at sea!
What else is in store as Prima cruises around the world?
Jared Hamer: It’s very exciting to be on board a ship that will be visiting so many different ports—from Iceland to Alaska and, of course, the Caribbean. It’s a different experience in every port. In Iceland, you might find yourself sipping champagne after an art auction while you watch the Northern Lights! It’s incredible.
We want to incorporate the feel of all the different ports in our art gallery too. For example, when we’re in Alaska, we’ll definitely be showcasing artists like Pat McManus who paints North American wildlife—eagles, caribou, and polar bears—because his art is just a perfect reflection of that environment.
No matter where we are in the world, the Prima Art Team is going to make your voyage an extraordinary experience.
If you have a cruise booked on Prima or any other cruise ship, Park West can make your vacation at sea extra special. Simply tell us what ship you’ll be on and when you’ll be traveling, and you’ll receive a complimentary $100 art credit plus a free gift when you check-in at the onboard art gallery. Click HERE to register for your next cruise adventure!