Working on a Cruise Ship: Heath Bristol and Tatum Holloway
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.
To auctioneers Heath Bristol and Tatum Holloway, the world of fine art seemed a world away until Park West helped transform their passions into reality. Ever since the pair caught the Park West bug, Heath and Tatum have enhanced the lives of collectors around the globe, forged lasting friendships, and most of all – found each other!
Previous ships as Auctioneer: Carnival Sensation and Island Princess
Current ship: Celebrity Summit
Where is your hometown?
Heath: Traverse City, Michigan
Tatum: I’ve lived all over South Africa, but most recently I call Cape Town home. It’s the best place on Earth!
When did you start working as an international Art Auctioneer on cruise ships?
Heath: Before Park West, I worked for a large pharmaceutical company. However, I got my start on cruise ships as a Destination Lecturer on the Celebrity Silhouette, where I helped market the art auctions from time to time. I saw first-hand how much fun the art teams were having – and I knew that I had to be a part of it!
Tatum: I started working alongside Park West two years ago. Before that, I had a standard 9-5 office job in the online gaming industry. I’ve always loved art, but as a terrible artist myself, I never thought about finding a career in the field. When this opportunity came along it felt too good to be true, and I’ve loved every moment since.
How did you both meet and begin working together?
Tatum: We met at Park West training in Miami over a year ago. I replaced him on the Celebrity Constellation eight months prior, so we had a lot of mutual friends when we finally met. We hit it off like a house on fire. After training we went on separate ships, kept in touch for about four months, and met in port whenever our ships were docked together. At some point Heath convinced me to travel halfway across the world – from Italy to Alaska – to join him. And here we are!
Who is your favorite Park West artist and why?
Heath: There’s one artist that stands out to me – Rembrandt van Rijn. Rembrandt was a true master of detail, nothing in his artwork is arbitrary; every line and every brushstroke had purpose and meaning. He leaves behind an incredible catalogue of masterpieces that still amazes viewers today.
Tatum: I think Nano Lopez’s style is incredible. His artwork is so intricate and sophisticated. That being said, my favorite artist changes depending on the day of the week. I love how different artworks make different people happy, and I think that sentiment applies to my favorites as well!
What do you like most about being an Art Auctioneer?
Heath: Ultimately, art is about what you love. The best moment as an auctioneer is when you see a guest that is so thrilled with their collection that they laugh, cry, and hug you, leaving with a smile, and most of all, a great memory.
What is your favorite client memory?
Heath: We had a collector who had unfortunately lost her son in a car accident just weeks before coming on the cruise. All week long she struggled to find the perfect artwork to commemorate his life. On the second-to-last night of the cruise we unveiled a Peter Max “Angel with Heart” sculpture and she knew right away. That was the one. The color, the message, and the love that radiated from the artwork was exactly what she was hoping to find. It was so powerful seeing how art could help someone in so much pain heal. Knowing that she will always have her “Angel” with her is something we will never forget.
What is your favorite port or travel tip for the readers?
Heath: Florence has to be one of the great cities of the world! The art, the architecture, and the whole aura of the city is a paradise for art lovers. The museums in Florence could keep me busy for months, and there is nothing like seeing Michelangelo’s “David” in real life. It’s a shame I can’t speak a word of Italian!
Tatum: I love Dubrovnik! It is such an amazing place with an atmosphere like nothing else! One of the reasons I love it so much is that I hardly knew it existed before docking there in my first contract and I was just blown away by its simplistic beauty.
Please tell us about your experience being an auctioneer aboard the Celebrity Summit.
Heath: Tatum and I have loved the Summit! We have been here for about five months now, which makes the ship feel a bit like our “home away from home” at the moment. We have had lots of fun with our team members and we have met some amazing guests too!