Park West Gallery Reviews | Glassdoor

Park West Gallery Reviews

Updated June 13, 2018
73 reviews

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3.9
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Albert Scaglione
40 Ratings

73 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Travel the world, work hard and you shall receive" (in 19 reviews)

  • "Great opportunity to see the world while selling beautiful artworks and making money" (in 8 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great company, really interesting industry, lots of opportunities"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Creative in Southfield, MI
    Current Employee - Creative in Southfield, MI
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Park West Gallery full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good pay, great work environment, company is well-funded and secure, exposure to clients from all over the world

    Cons

    Occasionally long hours. Trying to satisfy customers can be challenging.


  2. "Art Director"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Park West Gallery full-time

    Pros

    Travel the world, work hard and you shall receive

    Cons

    Long hours, months away, no benefits

  3. "Art Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - ARt Associate
    Current Employee - ARt Associate
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Park West Gallery full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    It's the most fun job in the world. Work and live on a cruise ship, and host live auctions. I didn't have much of an art background, when I started, but the training session is excellent and teaches you art history, sales skills, and public speaking skills.

    On the cruise ship, your job consists of speaking with guests in the gallery, and helping with the live auctions. The days can be long, but it's a good fit, if you are a people person, and don't want to be sitting at a desk all day.

    There is also great growth potential. I started 8 months ago, and plan to become an auctioneer within a year, which is very achievable. Overall, it's a great job if you want something a little different.

    Cons

    Your pay is delayed one month, in case guests return their artwork, so you don't get your first paycheck for about 6 weeks.

    You have to do a medical exam for the cruise ship that can be quite expensive.

    The hours onboard can be long on auction days.

    Advice to Management

    Overall, management seems to be quite strong. Keep up the good work!


  4. "Onboard Art Associate: a labor scheme"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - ARt Associate
    Former Employee - ARt Associate
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Park West Gallery full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    you'd say travel, but that also comes with sharing living quarters smaller than a police cell. the training in Miami is actually rather good, but the benefits of a skilled home office end there. It's nice you get food on the ships, too bad you're often literally not even given time to eat.

    Cons

    The absolutely unrealistic expectations placed on you as the company serially under-staffs Art Prepares and instead expects the commissioned staff (Art Associate & above) to do two jobs but get paid for one...which works great for the Auctioneers and Gallery Directors because they've been hazed enough into the mob-boss mentality of the system to pressure you to work beyond reasonable extremes (and beyond the hourly limits of cruise lines & the International Labor Org ILO), always getting off work past midnight on some lesser-well-managed-ships (which might happen because, well, you're out at sea and stuck with whatever underqualified management team you have who rose-through-the-ranks for questionable reasons...with no reasonable way for HQ to really see what's going on), and often times closer to 1am, when you're due up at 5:30 am....no heed to the fact that ILO & the cruise lines mandate you need at least 6 hours from the end of one shift to the beginning of the next....

    ...if you bring that up, you'll just be encouraged to lie on your timecard because hey you're just a body to be thrown on the fire. Most people leave either within the first 2 weeks, or if not that, first 2 months when the see the structural inefficiencies that you're just expected to deal with...think of lockers so overstocked that it takes you (bare with me now) 20 minutes just to get to something in the shelves because you need to take broken-trolleys out& down the hallway that are stuffed with 'art' just because the lockers are so overstuffed that every time you close up the locker, you have to wheel in trolleys filled to the brim in on top. Seriously on most ships you will play such a constant game of "tetrus" trying to find a place for everything that what could be loaded away in an hour will take you at least two hours just to cram everything in.

    Also, if you have a conscience or sense of decency, when you realize even art-works of decent "taste" are really just computer reproductions with a clear-coat of GLUE glazed over them to look like someone put paint-strokes of color, its a little hard to approach clients with a straight face. But really, the art itself is debatable...the REAL problem with this subcontractor is that they indenture a cult-like attitude of "buy in & commit yourself 16 hours a day with 5 hour sleep between one day and the next, or cop out" (so much for the fact you're not even effective when they treat you like that sleep is unreasonable) when a lot of what you end up spending your time on is systematic waste that should be better organized, for both you individually AND THE COMPANY to better make money...and the way to rise through the ranks is to adopt this attitude yourself, to become adept at pushing others to extremes that are not just unreasonable but also not productive. Taaaadaaa you get ship after ship managed mostly by unreasonable children who have been so indentured into the system that they don't know any better but to continue inflicting what they've "learned".

    ALSO: beware of the unrealistic "high ratings" this company has gotten on here, I am reasonably certain employees who are in the mid-way of "sticking it out" (as my roommate was) are encouraged to leave positive reviews as they convince themselves it's worth the while....most employees leave if not within the first 2 weeks then the first 2 months. Many of the reviews on here are from the few people who have staid around to join the cult/labor pyramid scheme, rather than the majority who leave.

    Advice to Management

    If you say you're going to have Art Preparers to support Art Associastes, actually do it. There is already such an enormous (and frankly unreasonable) mark-up that you get on all these (largely) computer copies that you can at least do your teams the decency of staffing them appropriately...rather than letting all the duties of the Art Preparer fall on the Art Associates who inevitably will be bullied into fufilling those duties by the little managers of their fiefdom/ships. Really 5 hours of sleep (or often less) a night is totally unreasonable when you need to be not just 'present' but 'patient' and 'engaged' with guests the next day. Employees deserve to be treated with humane and reasonable standards...there's a reason ILO standards exist. You'll get better results from your employees (and maybe a higher retention rate) if they're given the ability to rest and eat.

    Also, small note: Albert (CEO) should stay away from the religion talk at training...just kinda makes it seem even more of a cult where everyone there has to drink the kool-aid.

    Additionally, Art Associates should make a higher commission bonus off their pre-bids or sales that go through, because otherwise it just makes it obvious how much a pyramid scheme this is where the only way to make money is rising to be the fiefdom boss (I mean "auctioneer") who makes vastly more than the associates, regardless of working a ton less hours. If we're in this together, treat us like 'each role is valuable' rather than the 'only end-game is to get to Gallery Director or Auctioneer', because the pay structure's balance reflects a pyramid scheme.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Park West, My Dream JoB"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Principal Auctioneer in Miami, FL
    Current Employee - Principal Auctioneer in Miami, FL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Park West Gallery full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Rewards, the sky is the limit.
    Traveling the world.
    Have your partner with you, (very rare working on ships)
    World knowledge and skills built more relevant than any other experience.
    Opens the world in a way that exceeds expectation with room to grow and hard work really paying off.

    Cons

    Away from home for months at a time, while at the same time rewards and pros, most definitely out way the cons.

    Advice to Management

    This is truely the greatest job I have ever had, endless room for growth and oppertunity while seeing the world with a job you cant help but fall inlove with. It It's the best decision I have ever made, having my wife with me as well to be able to save, cut expenses and provide with the ability to improve our life style and standards in a secure way.


  6. "Art Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Park West Gallery full-time

    Pros

    BEST SALES TRAINING I HAVE EVER HAD. You have the ability to move up fast in the company, learn a ton about art even if you have no experience at all, and a lot of what the company is looking for is motivation. You get to meet people from all over the world on cruise ships (co-workers in your own team, co-workers from around the ship, and passengers), you get free meals on the ship, and you get a place to stay rent free.

    Cons

    The hours. You have to know that working on a cruise ship is a tough job to begin with, but the hours can really get to you. Additionally - some of the auctioneers and gallery directors you might work with and for will occasionally suck. Easiest way to say it.

    Advice to Management

    Check out how some of your auctioneers perform and create a better system for vacation time.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "You're Always the Bad Guy in Client Services"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Park West Gallery full-time

    Pros

    I learned a lot about art when I was employed here that I wasn't aware of before. Management would also occasionally bring in breakfast or lunch. Every year at Christmas you would get Christmas art.

    Cons

    There was a high turnover rate in this department, and for good reason. The department was severely understaffed. There weren't enough people to do what needed to be done and to look out for the customer. We'd have 500+ unread emails in all of our inboxes because we were constantly on the phones. But we weren't allowed to tell clients about this, therefore we just looked like jerks that wouldn't respond to you. The minute you ended one call, you were expected to pick up another. How are you supposed to get things done? And the main reason we were so understaffed was because of the huge delays in delivery times. For some reason, someone thought it would be a good idea to sell artwork that technically wasn't even made yet. But we weren't allowed to tell clients this. We had to deliver vague answers, and they'd understandably be upset. Since we didn't have enough time to do anything, we would have clerical do paperwork for refunds and such. If a refund was not turned in, it was our fault. If an auctioneer made false promises (which was often the case), it was our fault. Repeatedly damaged frames? Our fault. Late deliveries? Our fault. I tried as hard as I could to make customers happy, but there were so many things stacked against us that I just couldn't do it anymore. Eventually I just didn't care because it felt like nothing I did would ever solve all these problems. Because of all of this stress, there was a lot of hostility in the department as well. Some people were just not good at their jobs, but because there weren't enough people they were kept employed. And supervisors were never available. We'd have to try as hard as possible to calm a person down before transferring them over to a supervisor, because they were never available. they were also constantly on the phone with angry clients.

    Advice to Management

    Don't make promises you can't deliver on. Hire people who actually do their jobs well and value them. Have consequences for people who aren't doing their jobs correctly. All of the horrible experiences that customers have fall on the customer service department. And because these customers aren't screaming at auctioneers or framers, they keep getting away with lying or half-assing everything. You might be able to retain your employees if you solve these problems. Otherwise...get used to your high turnover rate, because that won't change unless you do.

  8. "Great job for a few years if you are able to handle the ups and downs of 100% commission jobs."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Art Auctioneer in Miami, FL
    Former Employee - Art Auctioneer in Miami, FL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Park West Gallery full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Can make fantastic money if you're on the right ship/itinerary. Get to travel the world, which is great too. If you are a good salesperson you will be promoted quickly giving you the chance to earn the highest commission % possible. If you can keep this up constantly, you will continue to get the best opportunities

    Cons

    On the flip side, getting the wrong itinerary/ship you can make almost nothing as it is almost entirely commission. It is difficult to come back from a 'bad' contract as you almost feel you have to start from the bottom again.

    Advice to Management

    Management do what they need to do, sometimes it feels as if you are not getting the help that you need. and sorting out issues can take too long.
    Not allow visas to pre determine routes/itinerary which they will go on as I felt as a US citizen that I was often sent somewhere just because I would not need a visa and this was often itineraries where it is less likely you will make good money.


  9. "Art at Sea & US Cities"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Auctioneer in South Lake Tahoe, CA
    Former Employee - Auctioneer in South Lake Tahoe, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Park West Gallery full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    You will challenge yourself. You will be challenged by Management and their system. If you address these challenges positively... you will earn handsome monetary and life rewards. The skills and exposures will improve your current and future lifestyle.

    Cons

    You will be required to work. This is an advantage especially if you enjoy the nature of this work... it will really equate to fun!

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the Great Work!


  10. "Art Auctions at Sea"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Park West Gallery full-time

    Pros

    Travel, great sales training and great opportunities available to grow and advance. Can make a lot of money if you work hard and are good.

    Cons

    No benefits (health, dental etc), away from home for long periods, some up front cost to get started (cruise ship medical, flight to the training)


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