If you ask Candice Vergis, gallery director of Park West Gallery at The Forum Shops at Caesars, she’d say that life has been quite serendipitous.
After studying vocal performance, specifically opera, at college in her home state of Kansas, and performing professionally for five years, in 2012 Vergis ended up in New York City auditioning for a performance spot on Holland America’s cruise ships. She spent seven years sailing the world. “That’s when I met Michael, my husband; he was the art director of Park West on the ship,” Vergis says. (Park West is huge in the cruise ship industry, auctioning many art pieces onboard.) “I’d been making friends with and helping the gallery for many years at that point,” Vergis says. “So, I left entertainment and went over to Park West. They gave me a shot.” That was more than four years ago, and since then Vergis and her husband helped launch Park West’s first flagship Las Vegas location at the end of last year.
“What’s funny is we got married, eloped to Vegas in 2017; and we stayed at Caesars Palace, had our wedding dinner at a restaurant in The Shops,” Vergis says. “And here we are—it’s really serendipitous how it happened.”
As the gallery director, Vergis makes sure everything is tip-top. “I take care of the sales, take care of the team. (All) the little details, from open to close. I treat this as this is my own personal business.”
Looking back on how her career path changed, Vergis says she’s definitely developed a passion for art and for Park West in particular. “I just kind of fell into this; it’s not something that I really set out to do. I knew in my heart, when I was a performer, I wouldn’t do it for the rest of my life. Little did I know that the fateful moment when I auditioned and got this job out of New York on cruise ships would change my life. And it did, in every way possible.” Serendipitous, indeed.
What makes Park West so cool is it’s part gallery and part museum. “The museum side offers something for everyone,” Vergis says. “The gallery is for those that are interested in collecting. You can enjoy, look, take photos—it’s one of those things where we let you get up-close. We have a bunch of masters that date back to the 15th century all the way to art that you can still smell the paint drying.” For purchase is Pastel Pond by Alexandre Renoir, the great grandson of one of the fathers of the impressionist art movement, Pierre Auguste Renoir.
On the museum side, Park West owns the largest single collection of Pablo Picasso ceramics in the world.
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