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Alum Takes Auction House into Digital Age

Alex Miciotta ’09 has channeled her love of art into an evolving career at Paddle 8, a virtual auction house for fine art that launched in 2011. As the shipping and logistics manager, she works to fulfill the desires of the growing global audience of 21st century collectors who, Paddle 8 says, expect 24/7 access to their passions.
“We’re a new business, and it’s kind of a developing front in terms of art and art objects sold online and how best to move them globally,” Miciotta said. “So our team does a lot of fulfillment as the bones of our daily tasks. But we’re also in deep on assessing strategy — kind of building out a process.”

Paddle 8’s auctions give collectors around the world unprecedented access to online auctions of high-caliber inventory. Their auctions showcase a dynamic range of collectible works—from museum-quality contemporary art and design to fine jewelry and design objects with cult followings—all vetted by trusted specialists, the company says. Paddle 8 partners with celebrated cultural institutions and international tastemakers on special auctions. In addition, the auction house works with individual collectors to consign their works to sell at auction or via private sales to the company’s global network of connoisseurs.

“I like the problem solving and innovation aspect to the work,” Miciotta said. “I’m also interested in what we’re doing as a company, generally — sort of on the front of this online art boom that, at least in my opinion, is kind of revolutionizing the way we do business in the art and auction world.”

Miciotta, who was recently featured in Newsday, entered Hofstra as a drama major but graduated with a BA in art history and English literature. During her first semester, she took an art history class called “Renaissance to Contemporary,” taught by Professor Martha Hollander. “It was the way she spoke about works and how accessible she made them. She could analyze them as objects but also address their content warmly and lovingly, like she was visiting old friends,” Miciotta said.

“I think that at Hofstra, students have a really robust network of mentors available. Teachers, advisors, what have you,” she said. “As an extracurricular, I worked at the Hofstra University Museum, and it was just full of these fantastic women applying their love of art and education in their every day jobs. It was revelatory. And they cared about the fact that I wanted to work in the arts — I was unpacking, installing, deinstalling, framing, making condition reports, you name it.”

After Miciotta graduated, she went on to earn her master’s degree in modern art, connoisseurship, and history of the art market from Christie’s Education. She started work at Christie’s as a client service intern, then advanced to a client service representative, then senior representative, then shipping expediter, doing logistics for the wine department. She left Christie’s to become a coordinator on the Art Fairs team at Dietl International Services before moving to Paddle 8.

Looking back on her time at Hofstra, she offers this advice for students: “Try not to get hung up on that sort of scary, over-arching question of, ‘What will I be when I leave here?’ When I graduated in 2009, I didn’t know shipping and logistics managers existed — I could barely mail a package at the Post Office. I just knew that I loved art and let that kind of act as a guide,” she said.

“College can be about enrichment and opportunity,” she added. “The people I know who are successful view the whole thing as an investment in the self, and one that your folks or family or teachers, etc., are making in you, too. So take advantage and do your best.”

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