Yes, I do mean ceased, sorry for the mis wording. And A/D just short for Art Director. Whitewall is based in the UK and have a quality line of product and have kept clean and decent thus far. They recently have been finding there market back into the cruise industry but staying in check and subtaining a decent product and program. There land gallery shows in the UK have had much success. I only can comment on them a little bit as they are not the mammoth companies as Park West, Global FA, BA Auctions, etc. controlling the multiple cruise markets.
I really feel for the guest that have been let down and decieved. Many of these AD or Art Auctioneers across the board have been conditioned to sell in this way by operations people who within these companies like my formal employers, BAA really have no experience in auctions, art, marketing, entertaining and good buisness ethics. Sorry to say this, but most of these people who get into this position are really looking to move up in the cruise line chain of command. I am a licensed Florida Auctioneer myself, know the art dealing buisness, logistics, education and entertainment portion as well, but just after all the years I've seen with BA Auctions, than the buy out to International Art Galleries I could not stay with this anymore. You have to remember also the cruise lines get a big percentage of the art sales revenue and the targets are just too high and un- realistic in this current market, so product has to be marked up 3x and you have the cost of framing, shipping, overhead with the vendor. So this art auction at sea industry is struggling to exist now.
Not to mention finding the proper and sharp sales staff and giving the training that is needed for the every changing market. My advice to anyone who enjoy attending the auctions and like to buy is just make a decision on how much your willing to spend on a image that you really find unique or want to add to your collection but keep it in prospective. Go and talk to the AD before and after the live auctions and peg them and see if they know about certain works, what it is, retail value, etc., than research on the internet, get some prices, try to cut a deal out of the auction. And never believe that your order will be shipped out before 4 weeks, especially if it's a original CP one of a kind that they have to offload.
I am afraid though lnternational Art Galleries, is not the upstanding company it may try to present itself and they only have Celebrity Cruises left but they are having major customer issues now and it could be ready for the plugged to be pulled on those ships as well. So I would caution anyone to purchase art while on Celebrity at this time because you may never get it? Feel free to ask me any other questions regarding the buisness. I am happy to give any members insight.