Thursday, March 26, 2009

Park West Artists at Sea: Fanch Ledan

Volets Caraibes by Fanch Ledan

Artists are hanging up their brushes and testing their sea legs to launch a program intended to enhance the Celebrity guest’s cruising experience.

By Cassandra,
Cruise Ship Art Auctioneer

Fanch Ledan boarded the Celebrity Constellation with the intention to initiate as much involvement with the guests as possible. His charming French demeanor and his readiness to greet guests assured a sensational first night onboard. Even if they were not previously involved in art, their chance to meet the world renowned artist quickly sparked their interest.

The next day was a live interview with the cruise director. The vision of the artist was discussed and the floor was opened for questions and answers. The intimate crowd was quite enthused to have personal insight to the artist’s world and was eager to hear more.

After the interview came the first auction. A live art auction is always a guaranteed crowd pleaser. When one of the artists is present to comment on his works it becomes a truly electrifying event . Mr. Ledan would humbly inform the crowd of the inspiration and significance behind each work of art -- information that even the most knowledgeable art dealer might be unable to provide. His words narrated a story behind each work and embedded emotional ties into the crowd. Many of these guests soon became Fanch Ledan art collectors.

Over many dinner discussions, the word spread fast throughout the ship that there was a special artist onboard. The gossip was that he was fun, friendly and most of all, approachable. Many guests commented on his amicability and his willingness to discuss his many experiences as an artist. The art gallery was busy for the next few days; mainly with signatures, photo shoots and lengthy conversations.

The second auction was an even bigger hit than the first. By that time, the whole ship had access to the live interview with Fanch, which had been broadcast into all the staterooms during the port days. The artist sailing was the buzz on the ship -- everyone wanted to come and check out the world renowned artist that Park West Gallery had brought to them.

Park West Gallery prides itself on creating a comfortable and informal environment for people to collect fine art. They understand that art collecting has a veneer of elitism and they succeed in actively demolishing that perception. Bringing art to the people is their mission. Bringing the artist that created the art to the people is even more poignant. Celebrity guests, quickly turned art connoisseurs, had a cruise experience of a lifetime. Many of them will forever own a fine work of art that they will be able to enjoy for the rest of their lives. It will always remind them of the great relationships that were built with the artist and the art dealers while they sailed the seas on the Celebrity Constellation.

1 comment:

  1. I just wanted to add a comment about Fanch Ledan. A few years back I was visiting Michigan and I found myself close to the Park West Gallery so I decided to stop in and look around. A very friendly receptionist who invited me to look around the gallery greeted me. As I rounded a corner from one room to another, I noticed a gentleman sitting at a table with a stack of artwork in front of him. He was hand signing each work. I thought that was pretty cool that here’s a guy signing all his art right there in the gallery for all to see. I wandered a bit closer and before I knew whom that person was signing, I recognized the art as that of Fanch.
    He looked up at me and in his deep French accent said “hello”. At first I was speechless and just blurted “hi, I have you at home on my walls”. Well that started about a 30-minute conversation about what art of his I had and what else I collected. Somewhere along the line we got off the topic of art and started talking about auto racing. He was most pleasant and I think he enjoyed having a break from signing. I was impressed that if he was tired, he could have gotten up and left but instead chose to talk with me. About a year later I ended up buying an example of the Serigraph he was signing that day. I also found out that I could have bought one of the pieces he was signing right then and there and he would have dedicated it. My loss on the dedication but that art adorning a wall in my house today is a great reminder of my time with Fanch.
    What a great opportunity for the passengers aboard that cruise to be able to spend time with him. He is really a neat man and talented artist. That just goes to show you how much fun you can have at a Park West auction.

    Pat A
    Plantation Fl.


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