Park West Auctioneer Spotlight: Matty Whittam and Sasha Voronova
At Park West, when guests attend our art auctions, they not only walk away with a newfound appreciation of art—they also walk away with lasting friendships.
Spending most of their days at sea, our onboard art teams help collectors around the world take home artwork they’ll treasure for the rest of their lives. That’s why, every month, we take time to dive into the lives of our top auctioneers!
We’d like you to meet Matty Whittam and Sasha Voronova, two top Park West auctioneers who each have a unique story of how they came to work for Park West. (We’re sure glad this is where they’ve ended up!) These two make a tremendous team and they recently sat down to tell us how they got started with Park West, share some of their favorite client memories, and let us know what it’s like living at sea.
Previous ships as an auctioneer: Carnival (CCL) Elation, CCL Glory, CCL Valor, CCL Pride
Current ship: CCL Breeze
Where is your hometown?
Matty: I grew up in Blackburn, England and currently live in Grange-Over-Sands, Cumbria.
Sasha: My hometown is Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, which was one of the five cities where the World Cup took place in 2018.
When did you start working as an international art auctioneer on cruise ships?
Matty: Prior to joining Park West, I was working as an onboard personal trainer, presenting seminars, nutrition programs, and helping people improve their lives and health. I became great friends with Park West’s onboard art team and thought, “I love being on a microphone, this could be perfect for me.” So, I joined Park West in 2017, gained a new passion as an art auctioneer, and have loved everything about it since!
Sasha: I have always envisioned my life being filled with travel, which is how I found myself working on a cruise ship. While traveling and visiting famous museums around the world, I became intrigued by art—its colors, styles, you name it! One day, I walked into one of Park West’s onboard galleries and felt like it was meant to be. I’ve been working for Park West for over five years, and I treasure every experience and memory I’ve made.
Who is your favorite Park West artist and why?
Matty: I am a big fan of Chris DeRubeis. To me, his works are like a portal into another dimension. However, Rembrandt has always been my “Number 1.” He was able to create artwork the size of a business card that was not only technically brilliant but also awe-inspiring.
Sasha: I’ve always been drawn to Marcel Mouly’s artwork. His brilliant colors give me the “warm fuzzies.”
Do you have a favorite client memory?
Matty: I love introducing new people to auctions and seminars, and generally, just being able to spend time with our guests! It’s great when a collector visits the art gallery every day of the cruise, even if only to say “Hi.” That’s when I feel I’ve made the most impact
Sasha: I love the “congratulations” hug that comes with helping a guest collect an unforgettable work of art. This moment always makes me emotional and I always feel truly appreciated.
Out of all the places you’ve traveled, where is your favorite port?
Matty: I’ve had some of the greatest times in the South Pacific, especially in Fiji. When I’m there, I’m instantly relaxed and it feels like vacation. I can’t wait to go back!
Sasha: Exploring Hawaii was an unforgettable experience. I’ve seen an active volcano, walked on a lava field, hiked through the rainforest, and swam near beautiful waterfalls. Alooo-ha!
What does life look like when you’re home and not working?
Matty: I have four nephews at home and one more nephew/niece coming in January. (It’s a surprise!) So I tend to spend a lot of time with my family. Sasha and I also try to escape to different countries on our time off.
Sasha: When I am back home in Russia, I still fine myself traveling all over the country to visit friends and family. Matty and I also look for unique experiences on our time off like going on an African safari, sleeping in a tree house, or watching the sunrise on a hot air balloon!
Tell us one thing about living and working at sea that would surprise most people.
Matty: We’re able to take advantage of many guest offerings on a ship—it’s a nice perk!
Sasha: Life on a cruise ship is definitely different, but still incredibly rewarding. In one day, I might be brainstorming new ideas for the art program in the morning, snorkeling in the afternoon, and sharing my art knowledge with guests in the evening!
Interested in cruise ship jobs or traveling the world as an international art auctioneer? Be sure to visit Art Auctions Abroad for more details.
Learn more about Park West’s world-class auctioneer program: