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Archive for the ‘Expert Opinions’ Category

From our Partners at Westbury: How individuals and businesses prepare a Brexit Action Plan

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016
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This article was written by Keith Graham, Partner at Westbury Accountants and Business Advisors, AWAD’s Partner in this field.

The vote is over and we have made the momentous decision to leave the EU.  Businesses and individuals need to consider the short and long-term implications.
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We are of course in a period of uncertainty with extreme volatility in currency and stock markets and this is unlikely to change much until the terms of our exit become clearer.  Against that background, we all face some challenges. We have already heard of property and investment transactions having been cancelled or put on hold, and of medical research projects whose funding is now in doubt. Clearly there is a good deal of anxiety about proceeding with investment projects, although, paradoxically, the weakness of sterling can act as an incentive to overseas investors.
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The most important thing to do is to think about the possible impact on you and your business.  It is too early to say – and the truth is that no one has a clue – what the business environment will look like once the dust has settled.  This may take many years whilst we negotiate our exit, decide what areas of our business life need change, e.g., regulation, laws, taxes, bureaucracy, etc., as well as trading relationships with the EU and with the rest of the world.

Below are some points to consider: 

  • To what extent are you exposed to the currency markets?  Do you buy or sell overseas and, if so, how will the fluctuations in sterling in the short and medium term affect you? Is there any action you may take (such as hedging) to lessen the blow. In particular, those who import are likely to have to be extremely careful about managing their currency exposure.  On the converse, exporters may have an opportunity to generate some additional profits.
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  • Do you need to review your pricing particularly if you import?
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  • If you are exposed to the property world, to what extent may a slow-down in the rate and/or value of transactions affect your business?
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  • Those businesses that foresee a significant drop in turnover or rise in costs following Brexit may need to consider reviewing staff levels as well as upcoming pay reviews/bonuses to see where unnecessary costs may be saved.
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  • Are you reliant on foreign labour?  Have you considered the possible impact if there were to be some form of restriction on such labour?
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  • Is your business particularly affected by Environmental or Health and safety legislation emanating from Europe, or one that may be prone to tariffs?
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  • If you are in the inward hospitality sector you may well find there is a boost to UK tourism but if you are exposed to the outbound sector, will a potential drop in business (because foreign holidays become more expensive) have an effect?
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  • Were you reliant on/expecting any grants or subsidies from EU sources? Can you make alternative arrangements or at least put a contingency plan in place.
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  • Will there be an effect on your pensions and investments?  As a general rule, one might take a longer-term view and not panic at the current extreme volatility in stock markets to which many investments are linked.  But perhaps a review of investment policy might seem sensible, particularly if you were planning to take pension benefits shortly, or to cash in investments.
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  • Is now the time to consider incorporating your business into a limited company, particularly with the announcement of an intent to reduce further  the rate of Corporation Tax?

 

Get in touch with Westbury with us to discuss how Brexit might affect you and how we can help you plan for it.

AWAD Social hosted by AWAD’s Partner Store Street Framing

Monday, July 18th, 2016

The AWAD Summer Social was kindly hosted last month at the Store Street Framing who are AWAD’s Partner in this area. It was an event that featured networking as well as practical demonstrations inc. gilding, canvas stretching and wood staining and we are very thankful to Andrew Milne Home and his team for welcoming us so warmly.

AWAD Social at Store Street Framing - Shopfront

Store Street Framing has its showroom in Bloomsbury where consultations are made and artwork is safely stored. The dusty and messy work of cutting and joining mouldings and then painting and gilding the frames themselves takes place in our North London workshops. Once the framing process is complete our drivers can quickly deliver across Greater London.

AWAD Social at Store Street Framing - Rocky Gilding with Neville

Our talented gilder Rocky demonstrates just how you handle that most delicate of materials, gold leaf. Beaten to less that 0.1 micron in thickness, gold leaf needs years of experience to lay down correctly. Working with the gilder’s knife on a calfskin pad and a gilder’s tip made of long squirrel hair, the delicate leaf is cut and lifted onto the prepared frame. Once applied to the coloured clay base the leaf will be burnished to the characteristic bright finish of water gilded frames.

AWAD Social at Store Street Framing - Andrew Milne Home

Andrew Milne Home, Store Street Framing‘s General Manager, explains some of the framing options available to galleries and dealers. Working with a team of craftsmen in the London workshop, many of the frame finishes are unique and can be completely customised to fit the artwork.

AWAD Social at Store Street Framing - Store Street Framing Team

The Store Street Framing team at the AWAD Summer Social event. From left to right, Yanko Tihov, Fine Art Materials, Phillip Booth, Mounting, Jana Jurkovicova, Framing Production Manager, Simeon Ackroyd, Canvas Stretching, Annika McSeveny, Framing Consultant and Nadia Tihova, Framing Manager.

AWAD Social at Store Street Framing - Options for works on paper framing

Some of the examples on show demonstrating the different ways of displaying works on paper. From traditional window mounts, to more complex ways of floating artwork, there are many attractive ways ways of displaying paper-based art.

AWAD Social at Store Street Framing - Amy Patsy Eleni

At the Summer Social, AWAD Members catching up (from left to right) Amy Caiger of Caiger Contemporary, Patsy Dixon of Liberty Gallery and Eleni Polycarpou of ARTful.

AWAD Social at Store Street Framing - Susan Nick MK MariaAWAD’s Founder and CEO Susan Mumford, Nicholas Sharp of Swan Turton, Member of the AWAD Board MK Semos of Decorazon Gallery and Maria Marro-Perera, AWAD Co-ordinator.

Highlights from Art Basel from our Switzerland based Member Kristen Knupp

Monday, June 20th, 2016
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We are grateful to Kristen Knupp of KPK Contemporary currently based in Switzerland,  for writing about Art Basel 2016 from the fair. All images by Kristen Knupp. For any questions, contact Kristen.

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Art Basel run on from June 16-19 in Basel, Switzerland, and as you have probably heard, it is huge; enormous; immense. There are 220 galleries in the main halls which is double the number of galleries at the Affordable Art Fair, Battersea. Then there is the Unlimited section of the fair, where 88 projects that “transcend the limitations of a traditional fair booth, including out-sized sculptures and paintings, videos, large-scale installations and live performances” are shown. There are six other sections of the fair including Statements, Feature, Edition, Magazines, Parcour, and Film.  On top of this there are satellite fairs such as Scope, Volta, and Photo Basel, each about the size of Battersea.  So an important part of visiting Art Basel is sorting out what you have time to see and where to go.

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After the three-hour train journey from Geneva to Art Basel on Friday, my friends and I decide to spend most of our time in the Unlimited section.  While the galleries section looks much like most other art fairs, the Unlimited section is another beast altogether.  Set in a huge warehouse building and without any gallery staff on hand, the viewing is relaxed and feels like an indoor amusement park of art.  There are many memorable exhibits and I will touch on the ones I like the best…

Queues at Art Basel 2016

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News from our Partners at Store Street Framing: In Praise of Hand-Finished Frames

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

Store Street Framing are a fine art framer based in central London and specialising in gallery standards, hand-finished and gilded frames and AWAD’s London Partner in this essential service that galleries, dealers and collectors frequently require. As experts in this field, we asked Store Street Framing, to share their ‘insider tips’ with us and in this first post, they tell us about the merits of hand-finished frames (vs. the pre-finished option). For more information or to enquire about Store Street Framing services, contact them at their 30-31 Store Street space in Fitzrovia or by phone +44 (0) 20 7636 8241.

In Praise of Hand-Finished Frames

The pre-finished white or black box frame is a stock item in many contemporary art galleries. At Store Street Framing we have supplied many of these frames to our clients. They have satisfactory look, they are quick to produce and they fulfil their purpose. They are, in effect, the invisible frame; something there but not there. Unnoticed by the client, these frames’ function is to disappear on the wall. As professional framers we know how much more is possible. Store Street Framing  Production Manager, Jana, has had many years of experience, first in furniture restoration and then in fine art framing. She knows how much value can be added to a work of art by adding a simple hand-finished frame.

“Some clients prefer pre-finished frame because of its price and efficiency. Simple hand finished frames are not that much more expensive and can take only few days to produce. In the workshop we’ve been developing a range of simple frames, showing the great effects you can achieve on wood frames with just stains, paint and wax – much nicer than anything you can buy off the shelf. A hand finished frame is a bespoke frame, where we are trying to match to client’s personality, interior surroundings, the best moulding profile and colour match for the artwork. This frame will last forever and have that originality of being different from the others. The good results come from the skill of the craftsman, not from the expensive materials.”

The idea of getting a hand finished frame looks at first sight extravagant, indulgent even. But before you commission another pre-finished frame, spend a moment thinking about what you are turning your back on. A wooden frame with a hand-finish is a thing of beauty, complementing the artwork as an aesthetic statement in its own right. For example, a simple rectangular maple moulding with a light stain and gentle wax adds a new level of beauty and complexity to the artwork. A frame can do much more than simply mark of the transition between wall and artwork.

For more information, click on the image below:

Hand Finished Frame (for blog)

#ArtWorldWomen Today: Do women-only organizations and galleries ghettoize women or help them?

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016
March 8th is International Women’s Day! Celebrate with Association of Women Art Dealers and Pen and Brush as a distinguished panel of art world professionals gather to discuss the role of women-only arts organizations and galleries, and endeavor to answer the question: does this separation from male artists help women or hurt them? The event is in partnership with #HeForShe New York Arts Week.

The panel will be moderated by Susan Johnson Mumford, Founder of the Association of Women Art Dealers (AWAD) and feature Pen and Brush Executive Director Janice Sands, artist Tricia Wright and Winston Peters, Business Advisor & Financial Analyst for culturally aligned companies. The program will be held at Pen and Brush, 29 East 22nd Street, New York, NY 10010. It begins at begin at 7 PM, with an hour for Q&A and a reception to follow. The reception is kindly being sponsored by LaPlaya Fine Arts. This is a free event but reservations are suggested –  Eventbrite.

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