Monthly Archives: July 2016

Sneak Attack On Dual Taxpayers

Now Mr. Haynes wishes to farm out the cost of reappraisal to individual cities for their residents. This amounts to nothing more than a cost shift out of his office to city taxpayers that were already paying the expense through their county taxes. So taxpayers of Signal Mountain, Red Bank, Lakesite, Soddy Daisy, Collegedale, Chattanooga, East Ridge, Walden, Ridgeside, Lookout Mountain, please consider this. Your last property appraisal was paid from your Hamilton County taxes. If the Hamilton County Commissioners approve the request to cost shift the reappraisal fees to all municipalities and towns, your next appraisal will ding you twice for one job.

The only fair way to fund Hamilton County property appraisals is the way it has always been done. All those that own property in Hamilton County should be appraised and billed equally from the taxes Hamilton County already collects and that all Hamilton County taxpayers already pay. Keep in mind the appraiser’ s office does not suggest any reduction in Hamilton County taxes to those that would be paying a second time after the tax shift occurs.  The appraiser well knows it would be illegal to reduce taxes for some county taxpayers, even if the cost responsibility was shifted. The net effect of his proposal would allow him to shift the expense while maintaining the same revenue stream. What a sweet deal for the appraiser’s office.

This is yet another example of how those living in towns or cities, which happen to also lie in Hamilton County, are double tax abused. If this outrageous expense dumping is approved, the abused would like Mr. Haynes to explain who will pay for the appraisals for those living in the unincorporated portions of Hamilton County. We know the unincorporated taxpayers will not be paying a second portion for their same tax appraisals, so how will he be treating all county citizens equally and fairly?  While the assessor’s office is financially supported by all citizens that pay county taxes, the unincorporated folks will feel no additional pain from the expense shifting. Not fair.

We can be certain that when someone tries to defend this sneak attack, they will mention that the same property assessments are used to compute tax rates for both city and county properties. It has always been this way for good reason. Assuming his county appraisers use a standard market value basis for appraising (and they do), there is no reason for the city and county to separately appraise the same property twice, because the state dictates all assessments must occur in the same year regardless of where in the state the property is located. Common sense has always driven the process.

Mr. Haynes, we dual taxpayers understand what you are doing and we do not appreciate this new idea. Paying a double expense for the single task of property reappraisals is not worth the benefit of an offer to extend your office hours from 4-5 p.m. Many of us cannot recall the last time we visited your office, unless it was to protest an inflated appraisal. We would encourage you to rethink this ill-conceived move. We would remind you that the majority of county voters, who will be paying the double expense, reside in the cities and towns of Hamilton County. According to the latest U.S. Census data 2014-2015, the collective majority of dual county and city-town taxpaying voters constitutes about 62 percent of Hamilton County residents. It’s a large bloc of voters to discriminate against. Don’t forget commercial property owners. Please understand the magnitude of all the frustrated double-taxed people.

The Paintings of Alejandro

Agora Gallery is a contemporary fine art gallery located in the heart of Chelsea’s fine art district in New York. Established in 1984, Agora Gallery specializes in connecting art dealers and collectors with national and international artists. The art gallery’s expert consultants are available to assist corporate and private clients in procuring original artwork to meet their organization’s specific needs and budget requirements. With a strong online presence and popular online gallery, ARTmine, coupled with the spacious and elegant physical gallery space, the work of our talented artists, who work in diverse media and styles, can receive the attention it deserves.

Born in Mexico City, Alejandro (Alexati) Carrillo turned to art as a means of capturing the beauty in his life. Later, it became a refuge when the surrounding world became dark or dull. Carrillo is primarily a figurative painter drawing on art nouveau and art decon influences. Most evident is his appreciation of Tamara de Lempicka’s work, which echoes through his own paintings. Carrillo also turns to other painters for inspiration: to the delicacy of Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun’s figures and to the wildness of Dali and Kahlo, as well as to photographers Helmut Newton and Guy Bourdin for the glamorous approach they take with their work.

Working with oils, Carrillo achieves smooth skin tones accented by strategically placed colors. Wrapped in rich, red gowns and furs, adorned with makeup, never more than an arm’s reach from a cocktail or glass of champagne, Carrillo’s figures represent the epitome of luxurious existence. However, this glamor is shallow, he warns. “It is the illusion some of us like to keep in our minds, to be able to keep standing in the world and have a goal.”

Alejandro (Alexati) Carrillo works from a studio in Condesa, Mexico City.

Lavinia Falcan

Color is queen for Falcan Iulia-Lavinia, whose portraits of women defy the male gaze with stylistic invention. Born in Bucharest, Romania, Lavinia studied painting at the National University of Arts, earning both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree there. Painting on large canvases that match the height of her viewers, Lavinia draws inspiration from colors, people’s faces, and important events in her life. Large

walls are not immune to her touch either, as Lavinia also paints murals, glass, and found objects.  In fact, over the last ten years, she has established herself as one of the few muralist in Bucharest, developing a rare mural art business named Madonia Art.

Preferring acrylic for its persistent vibrancy, Lavinia conveys a complexity of feeling with simple, one or two-word titles. A number of her figures have sections of their bodies demarcated like stained glass. Others are defined by triangular patterns and whorls of color. Lavinia says that her paintings capture everyday events in her life, as if the people she meets are reflected back through her, transmitted onto canvas. This is the creative vision she seeks to share with the world. “I search every day for inspiration,” Lavinia says, “and I choose to be inspired by

everything.”

Agora Gallery is pleased to present Plurality of Expression, a new group exhibition highlighting the incredible diversity of visual language that the human mind is capable of creating. Seven artists are featured, among them painters, sculptors, photographers, and interdisciplinary artists. The group hails from a wide range of places including Peru, Romania, and Canada, and their far-flung origins influence their work in unexpected ways. Instead of any one artist creating pieces in a traditional or characteristic style of their home, this group represents the ever-increasing globalization of our world. Each artist shows knowledge of old and new techniques, and local and foreign aesthetics. Influences are cherished, but they are also interrogated and pushed further. Information travels quickly in the art world.

The strength of Plurality of Expression lies in just how different its featured artists are. One painter creates meticulously realistic tableaux of utterly fantastic landscapes – a road floating over an endless sky, or an egg that has sprouted its own feather. Another artist creates digital photographs exploring the nature of femininity through wondrously tactile liquids and fabrics. Yet another makes jewel-toned paintings of flat, serpentine figuresFree Reprint Articles, and another makes infinitely layered visions of the cosmos.

Good Feedback on 360

A new survey by YuMe indicates that many consumers find 360-degree video a positive and memorable experience, and more than one-third said they would probably be more likely to engage with an ad in the immersive video format.

Of the many forms of virtual reality, 360-degree video is one of the easiest and least-expensive to produce, distribute and experience. Publishers and platforms including the New York Times, CNN, the Economist, National Geographic and many others are offering 360-video experiences. Cameras to create 360-degree experiences are relatively cheap, and the videos can be consumed with or without a VR headset.

Nevertheless, 360-degree video is not common knowledge among consumers. The YuMe survey found that only 31% of the consumers surveyed said they had heard of the technology. The survey points up one of the challenges of terminology when working with new formats: Fully 47% of the respondents said they were familiar with the term virtual reality—and 360-degree video (a term that far fewer consumers recognized) is simply a form of virtual reality.

Marketers appear to be approaching the technology with caution. A survey by Demand Metric and Vidyard in 2016 found that only 6% of North American marketers said they had created 360-degree videos.

That number is likely to grow as more consumers experience the immersive video—and in turn look for more such content. Last month, Twitter revealed that users on its platform, as well as Periscope, will be able to watch interactive 360-degree live videos from broadcasters. Facebook also has launched Live 360-degree video streaming.

The Multidisciplinary Artwork of Aurélie Beer

Beer’s photography, which alternates between portraiture and digital collage, features women of all kinds, from real-world migrants to phantasmal characters cloaked in paint. She believes that art creates a balanced life, establishing relationships and fostering a safe community. “I’ve been traveling the world as an artist for the last fifteen years, searching for other ways of learning and living life,” Beer says. “I searched for and nurtured my heart.”

Aurélie Beer currently lives and works in Lima, Peru.

About the Exhibition

The Many Worlds in “Plurality of Expression”

Agora Gallery is pleased to present Plurality of Expression, a new group exhibition highlighting the incredible diversity of visual language that the human mind is capable of creating. Seven artists are featured, among them painters, sculptors, photographers, and interdisciplinary artists. The group hails from a wide range of places including Peru, Romania, and Canada, and their far-flung origins influence their work in unexpected ways. Instead of any one artist creating pieces in a traditional or characteristic style of their home, this group represents the ever-increasing globalization of our world. Each artist shows knowledge of old and new techniques, and local and foreign aesthetics. Influences are cherished, but they are also interrogated and pushed further. Information travels quickly in the art world.

The strength of Plurality of Expression lies in just how different its featured artists are. One painter creates meticulously realistic tableaux of utterly fantastic landscapes – a road floating over an endless sky, or an egg that has sprouted its own feather. Another artist creates digital photographs exploring the nature of femininity through wondrously tactile liquids and fabrics. Yet another makes jewel-toned paintings of flat, serpentine figuresFind Article, and another makes infinitely layered visions of the cosmos.

Sales Tumbled in the UK

The BPI, the British Recorded Musical Industry association, reported that total “album equivalent” sales eked out a gain, but only because the measure includes streamed music. With streamed music added into the mix of digital albums (plus so-called track-equivalent albums) and physical albums of any format, the organization said that 123 million albums were sold in the UK in 2016, up 1.5% from 2015.

Among all formats, physical albums still sold the most copies, at 50.6 million. But that was down from 2015’s 55.8 million. Digital album sales declined even more precipitously, tumbling nearly 30% to 18.1 million, down from the 25.7 million purchased in 2015.

Meanwhile, streaming continued to grow at an extremely fast pace. Streaming’s contribution to album sales, via so-called streaming equivalent album sales, rose 67.5% to 44.9 million for the year.

Though a niche market, vinyl LP sales were also up significantly versus 2015. Units sales for the resurgent format rose 52.6% to 3.2 million, up from 2015’s 2.1 million.

In terms of value, music sales rose 4.6% to €1.11 billion ($1.50 billion), according to GfK and the BPI. Physical album sales still contributed the largest share of total sales, but the figure was off 9.3% from a year ago. Not surprisingly, sales attributed to streaming were up sharply, rising 65.1% vs. 2015.