Lauren Kotmel ’11 is engaging and attracting Cleveland’s next generation of arts participants and patrons.
by Ashley Katona '06, M.Ed. '12
Photo by Melissa Olson
One of the first pieces of art that Lauren Kotmel ’11 ever bought was a huge mixed-media canvas from a hole-in-the wall gallery in Washington, D.C. At the time, she was interning at the Smithsonian as part of Kent State’s Washington Program in National Issues. “When my parents came to pick me up [at the end of the internship], they almost killed me because it took up half the car!” laughs Kotmel.
That was just the beginning of the artwork she’s collected over the past few years. “I love to support local, and I’m an unconventional collector,” Kotmel says. “I have a little bit of everything: lithographs and screen prints of exhibits or gallery openings, sketches from a fashion designer friend’s recent fall line, vintage surrealist black and white photography, mixed-media prints and rare or framed vinyl album covers.”
Here are Kotmel’s collecting tips: