Wednesday, February 10, 2016

PopUp Research Station goes to Thomasville



"Art is Business"- PopUp Research Station goes to Thomasville to investigate artist, Marty Haythorn.  The Wiregrass Gallery is an artist's cooperative in Historic Downtown Thomasville, Georgia, with over 45 artists.

As a cooperative, The Wiregrass Gallery was established by artists, and is run by artists.  It is a democratic, inclusive, bottom-up organization that thrives on sharing ideas, debate and consensus building.  It's an organization that reflects the creative spirit of it's members and fosters a feeling of vitality and life.  We challenge and inspire each other.  With each visit, you will see something new and different.

The Wiregrass Gallery has over 1700 square feet of exhibition space, including a room for special exhibits and featured artists.  Each month, beginning with the First Friday event in Thomasville, we open a new exhibit based on a local, state or national theme, or feature a body of work by one or two of our members.  We stay open until 9:00 pm on First Fridays and offer wine and cheese and sometimes live music.



Monday, February 8, 2016

Today on Freelancers Union

"Art is Business" Become a member of Freelancers Union
 Copyright © 2016 Freelancers Union, All rights reserved. repost for members of  the Phantom Gallery Chicago Network- subscribe to receive regular E-mails.


02/06/2016 
Excerpts:

For the first time ever, NYC invites freelancers to speak about nonpayment

The City of New York invites freelancers to City Hall to speak about the importance of stronger protections for the freelance workforce. Join us on February 29, 1:00 p.m.at a hearing for the #FreelanceIsntFree Act.
This is a momentous occasion as it’s the first in New York City history in which freelancers get to speak in an official capacity about the struggles we face with nonpayment. On February 29 at 1:00 p.m., we will convene at City Hall Chambers to share nonpayment stories and hear from #FreelanceIsntFree advocates.
We’re seeking freelancers willing to testify to the problem of client nonpayment at the hearing – if you have been affected by nonpayment or late payment and would like to testify, please email us at advocacy@freelancersunion.org.
Finally, we invite you to join us on February 29 at 1:00 p.m. to show your support for the freelancers participating in the hearing and for the passage of the #FreelanceIsntFree bill in New York. By showing up in droves, we remind our City representatives that New York City freelancers are a powerful and diverse group of working professionals – and we mean business!
We look forward to seeing you there. This has been an incredible journey thus far and we’re excited to continue pursuing the passage of this legislation.

Read on »

It ain't necessarily so – 10 urban tax myths

This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.
Here, fellow freelancers, are ten “urban tax myths” that just ain’t true.
1. You only have to claim the income for which you receive a Form 1099.  
False!  All income from self-employment is taxable — whether or not you receive a Form 1099.
2. Receiving a Form 1099 increases your audit risk.
False! The mere receipt of a Form 1099 does not in any way affect your audit profile.  Each tax return is assigned a score, called the Discriminant Inventory Function, or DIF, based on the information reported on the return. The higher your score, the more likely you are to get audited.
However, if you don’t report the income from a Form 1099 on your 1040 you will eventually receive a bill from Uncle Sam for additional tax and accrued penalties and interest.
3. Filing late means you're less likely to be audited.
False!  Just because you file late in the season, near the April 15th deadline, does not mean you have decreased your audit risk. Also requesting an extension, and filing your return close to Oct. 15, doesn't decrease your audit risk either.  You get audited based on what is on your return, not when you filed it.
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4. If the IRS didn't audit your returns, the deduction you’ve been taking all these years must be legal.  
False! It just means you weren’t caught ... yet.
5. Claiming a home office deduction automatically triggers an audit.
False!  Before the rules were clarified in the '90s, the home office deduction was thought to be an audit “red flag.”  But not anymore.  In my 44 tax seasons preparing 1040s, none of my clients have ever been questioned or audited by the IRS for claiming a home office deduction.  If you qualify for a home office deduction you should by all means claim it on your tax return.
6. Working taxpayers older than 65 don't have to pay Social Security tax.
False! Net income from self-employment in excess of $400 is subject to self-employment tax (the self-employment equivalent of Social Security and Medicare taxes) whether you’re 3 years old or 101 years old, and regardless of whether or not you are already collecting Social Security.    
7. You can deduct the cost of your car and all its operating expenses, or mileage, as a business expense if you put advertising on the car.
IRS Publication 463 states the facts - “Putting display material that advertises your business on your car does not change the use of your car from personal use to business use. If you use this car for commuting or other personal uses, you still cannot deduct your expenses for those uses.”
8. "It can’t be wrong? I used Turbo Tax!"
False!  The Tax Court has on several occasions rejected the "Turbo Tax Defense" when a taxpayer attempted to blame tax preparation software for errors made on a tax return.  If you rely on a “box” to prepare your tax returns remember – garbage in, garbage out.
No tax preparation software package, or online filing service, is a substitute for knowledge of the Tax Code, and no tax preparation software package, or online filing service, is a substitute for a competent, experienced tax professional!
9. You can settle your outstanding IRS tax debt for "pennies on the dollar”.
False!  Don’t believe the ads for companies that make such a claim.  It sounds too good to be true, and it is!  These ads are referring to an IRS program known as “Offer In Compromise,” but no matter what they say, the IRS isn’t going to let you pay $100 to settle a $50,000 tax debt.  If you use one of these companies you will pay a sizable fee — after all, how do you think they afford to advertise on TV?  Avoid these companies like the plague.  Several of the companies promising to settle IRS debt for “pennies on the dollar” have gotten into legal trouble for taking advantage of their customers and have been shut down.
10. CPAs are 1040 tax experts.
False!  The initials “CPA” have nothing whatsoever to do with one’s knowledge of, experience with, or ability to prepare 1040s.  All they mean is that the person can certify financial statements.  A CPA passed a very difficult test on accounting issues, perhaps dozens of years ago, with minimal, if any, questions on 1040 taxation.  CPAs must maintain minimal annual continuing professional education (CPE) credits — but there is nothing that says any of their CPE must be in 1040 taxation.
There are many CPAs who are also 1040 tax experts.  But this is because of the education, experience, ability, temperament, and other factors that are specific to that individual preparer, and has to do with nothing to do with their “initials.”  The only “initials” that have any bearing on a person’s competence and currency with federal income tax law are “EA” for Enrolled Agent, “ATP” for Accredited Tax Preparer, and “ATA” for Accredited Tax Advisor.
Northeast PA resident Robert D Flach has been preparing 1040s since 1972, and has been writing the popular tax blog THE WANDERING TAX PRO since the summer of 2001.  He has also created and writes the websites THE TAX PROFESSIONAL and FIND A TAX PROFESSIONAL.   He is available to write articles and columns on federal tax planning and preparation for print and online newsletters and magazines and websites and portals.

Read on »
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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Expo Chicago is the Windy City’s Attempt at Creating a World-class Art Fair

"Art is Business"  Expo Chicago Jon Witzky and Jam Lovell Articles
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Lavon N. Pettis at Chicago Expo

Expo Chicago is the windy city’s attempt at creating a world-class art fair, and they largely succeeded, featuring 140 galleries representing 16 countries, the atmosphere is giddily overwhelming. Expo Raises the bar with booth talks, performances and panel discussions featuring heavyweights such as curator, critic, and historian Hans-Ulrich Obrist in conversation with members of Chicago Imagists The Hairy Who, and artists such as Daniel Buren discussing the intersection of abstract art and architecture, both of these discussions have been archived by Expo Chicago and can be found online. But it’s the art that is the real draw here; with over 3,000 artists represented by 140 galleries it is hard not to feel dazed by the sheer magnitude of the fair. A scattershot approach to presentation is what separates an art fair from an exhibition where the curatorial role appears to be nearly absent, in it’s place we find a market based approach where selling is key, thus we are presented with a safe, non-confrontational view of contemporary art that leans heavily on 2-dimensional, aesthetically pleasing work – work that will sell.

This is not necessarily a bad thing as is evidenced by pieces such as Daniel Buren’s “Situated works”, Buren’s pieces are light based works made of optical fiber and their ubiquitous presence dominated the fair as they worked to transform the architecture into a deeply immersive atmosphere, equally jarring and meditative.

Water Light Graffiti is another light based interactive work by the Paris-based artist Antonin Fourneau. Created with 1000’s of water sensitive LED light bulbs, the public was invited to take part in an ever-evolving graffiti inspired piece. Like a grown-up version of lite-brite with a twist; the addition and erasure of light created through the use of damp sponges. Sponsored by the Natural Resources Defense Council, Fourneau’s work hopes to spark a dialogue about the interplay between technology and nature and our dwindling resources.


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This is not necessarily a bad thing as is evidenced by pieces such as Daniel Buren’s “Situated works”, Buren’s pieces are light based works made of optical fiber and their ubiquitous presence dominated the fair as they worked to transform the architecture into a deeply immersive atmosphere, equally jarring and meditative.

Water Light Graffiti is another light based interactive work by the Paris-based artist Antonin Fourneau. Created with 1000’s of water sensitive LED light bulbs, the public was invited to take part in an ever-evolving graffiti inspired piece. Like a grown-up version of lite-brite with a twist; the addition and erasure of light created through the use of damp sponges. Sponsored by the Natural Resources Defense Council, Fourneau’s work hopes to spark a dialogue about the interplay between technology and nature and our dwindling resources.Lotus 0.475 is a kinetic sculpture crafted by Pedro S. De Movellan. 


The piece seduces the audience with its shiny red finish, and attracts viewers like flies to light with its slow fluid motion. After being drawn to the sculpture, the viewer patiently waits for the piece to stagnate, but due to the weight distribution between aluminum, brass, and stainless steel, Lotus 0.475 never quits. In a world where abstract and figural sculpture reigns supreme, it is a breath of fresh air to witness such a carefully planned and crafted piece focusing primarily on kinetics.
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This years Expo marks the first official collaboration between Expo Chicago and China and featuring four artists represented by CAFA, the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. The highlights of this group were Geng Xue and Wang Yuping. In Mr. Sea, Geng Xue creates delicate porcelain sculptures as well as stop-motion films with these creations, the effect is stunning, bringing the ancient artisanal tradition of porcelain wares into a thoroughly modern sculptural and cinematic realm. 

Wang Yuping works with acrylic on paper to create a series of discrete and whimsical images titled, appropriately enough, Small Things. These paintings feature familiar and unfamiliar objects centered in an off white background and seem to comment on production and conspicuous consumption.

While embracing it’s function as an art fair, Expo Chicago secondarily serves as an educational environment for students, faculty, and art lovers alike. Unlike other art fairs such as Art Prize, Expo primarily exists to serve the buyers market. Art Prize, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, celebrates and coming, established, experimental, or filmmakers. 

The artists are often present at the event to answer questions and encourage meaningful conversation about the work. Expo Chicago is an international fair showcasing contemporary art from famous, established artists. The artists are not always present at the event, typically only the dealers that represent them are available and have little time for the non-buyer. Expo sparks conversation among visitors while an event such as Art Prize sparks conversation among visitors and artists.
While embracing it’s function as an art fair, Expo Chicago secondarily serves as an educational environment for students, faculty, and art lovers alike. Unlike other art fairs such as Art Prize, Expo primarily exists to serve the buyers market. Art Prize, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, celebrates and 
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