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Park West Gallery Auctioneer Spotlight: Mike Grobler

 In Art & Gallery News, Cruise Art Auctions at Sea
Auctioneer Mike Grobler

Auctioneer Mike Grobler

The Park West experience is defined by entertainment, our unique collection of artists, and most importantly—our talented onboard Art Teams. This month, we’re spotlighting Auctioneer Mike Grobler, a South African-native who continues to redefine the meaning of leadership. As a five-year veteran with Park West, Mike attributes his success to none other than teamwork.

Grobler says, “I owe a lot of my success to my team members throughout the years, and it’s important to realize the importance of working together.”

Today, Mike is bringing his larger-than-life work ethic to one of the largest cruise ships in the world—the Harmony of the Seas. Read all about him here!

 

Previous ships as auctioneer: Dawn Princess, Crown Princess, Sapphire Princess, Celebrity Constellation, Carnival (CCL) Elation, CCL Dream, CCL Breeze

Current ship: Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas

 

Where is your hometown?

Mike: Benoni, Johannesburg

 

When did you start working as an international art auctioneer on cruise ships?

Mike: I’ve been working alongside Park West since 2014. At the time, I was coaching kids’ soccer in Johannesburg, and although soccer was (and continues to be) one of my greatest passions, I wanted to travel the world and try something new. With my interest in art and a desire to travel, there was no better option for me but to join Park West!

Auctioneer Mike Grober with the Harmony of the Seas Art Team

Mike Grober with the Harmony of the Seas Art Team

 

Who is your favorite Park West artist and why?  

Mike: This is THE hardest question to answer! I love Daniel Wall, Michael Godard, and Matt Beyrer, but my absolute favorite is Chris DeRubeis. Not only does his subject captivate me, but I’m also fascinated with how his artwork transforms at every angle. Every grind of the metal has its own personality. I find myself trapped in his awe-inspiring artworks every day!

 

What is your favorite client memory?

Mike: One of biggest reasons why I love my job is the people. I meet hundreds of new people every cruise and get the opportunity to build a relationship with them. My favorite ship memories are formed by these interactions. Getting to help individuals find the perfect artwork for their home and family legacy? This is what brings me the utmost joy.

 

Out of all the places you’ve traveled, where is your favorite port?

Mike: Another tough one! My top-3 locations are Dubrovnik, Croatia; Santorini, Greece; and Phuket, Thailand.

Grober's current ship, Harmony of the Seas, docked at Labadee, Haiti.

Grober’s current ship, Harmony of the Seas, docked at Labadee, Haiti.

 

What does life look like when you’re home on vacation?

Mike:  Every time I’m on vacation or not working, I always find myself doing something that revolves around art. One of my favorite quotes is “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life,” and I think I’m fortunate enough to live up to that mantra.

Auctioneer Mike Grobler at work

Mike Grobler at work

 

Tell us one thing about living or working at sea that would surprise most people.

Mike: Although it’s tough being away from friends and family, life at sea is a different world that I would recommend to anyone who has the chance. You get to meet new people, learn about different cultures, and travel—all in a day’s work. Working on a cruise ship has made me the person I am today.

 

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Showing 2 comments
  • Clarence Foster
    Reply

    Sorry but Jacqui ( from South Africa),his fiance and team,are the best. Forgive me for lack of names and /or spelling…wrote this” in the moment”.

  • Janice Gundersen
    Reply

    We have been on the Harmony for 3 weeks this October and Mike and his team (Taylor, Fransea (?) and Phil) all made our time at the auctions fun and exciting. They were really interested in us as individuals and showed interest in our collections. They showed a Great team spirit and we really had a great time with them.

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Patrons browse Dalí’s illustrations at the "Stairway to Heaven" opening at the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art.Guy Harvey