Oct / Nov Artist of the Month: Ethan Azarian

Our Artist of the month for both October AND November is Ethan Azarian. His painting, 1870 Our Lady of Guadalupe, is featured in our East 7th Street location right now. 
 
“I live and work full-time as a visual artist in Austin, Texas. I realized early on in my career that it was important to diversify, be open to and embrace the many different ways there are of making a living from creating art. One way to do this was to create a space to exhibit my paintings, so I turned my house into a gallery and called it the In House Gallery, which existed from 1999 to 2014. In 2015 Blue Cow Studio was born. Blue Cow Studio is both studio and gallery space which we had built in the back yard. My wife Melissa and I exhibit our own work as well as host and curate exhibitions with Texas based artists. 
 
Recently I have been concentrating on large public works of art in the form of murals. Some of these murals have been funded through the City of Austin’s Cultural Arts Division and are collaborations with local elementary and high school students as well as members of the community in Austin. In September 2016 I was invited to Angers, France to create a large outdoor mural with art students at Ecole Supérieure des Beaux Arts. Through these community arts projects (both locally and internationally) I realized just how much I enjoy and am inspired by working with fellow artists and members of the community. I enjoy sharing my artistic process as well as connecting with communities I am working with.
 
In addition I exhibit my paintings in galleries, cafes, libraries and schools. I have permanent works on display at the Robert B. Green Clinic and the University Hospital in San Antonio, Texas as well as the Wilton Mall in Saratoga Springs, New York. “
 
512-271-1997

Featured December Artist: Don Collins

This December, we honor the work of Don Collins, whose beautiful artwork has graced our annual calendar for each of the past 41 years. Don has produced approximately 400 works for our calendars, allowing us to share his passion with our customers. To order copies of our 2018 calendar on our website, click here. As always, the calendars are free.  

Don has embraced hunting unique sites on back roads, long-deserted main streets and historical libraries in Texas for decades. The special sites include a story – be it a story of getting onto the ­property to take a photo, a story of the building itself, or a tale involving the folks he met on his adventures. His drawings and paintings breathe life back into these old homes, barns, courthouses, shanties and structures that he has chosen. Don authored the book, Traces of Forgotten Places: An Artist’s Thirty-Year Exploration and Celebration of Texas as It Was sharing some of these stories and drawings.

Raised in Parker County west of Fort Worth, Don worked as a commercial artist after serving in the Army during the Korean War and graduating from the University of Texas at Austin. Though he produced a wide range of images for commercial accounts ranging from builders, architects, book publishers and NASA, Don now concentrates on landscapes, character studies, and nostalgia pieces.

Collins is active in his “retirement”, having recently published a colorful children’s book featuring animals of all kinds visiting doctors and dentists. He is involved with several DFW art organizations, accepts several commissions yearly, and travels abroad, with a trip to Africa scheduled in 2017.  Additional work and contact information are available on his website, www.dchandart.com.

There’s Still Time to Take Advantage of the Section 179 Deduction

Most people think the Section 179 deduction is some mysterious or complicated tax code. It really isn’t, as you can see in more detail on this website.

Section 179 of the IRS tax code allows businesses to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment and/or software purchased or financed during the tax year. That means that if you buy (or lease) a piece of qualifying equipment, you can deduct the FULL PURCHASE PRICE from your gross income. It’s an incentive created by the U.S. government to encourage businesses to buy equipment and invest in themselves.

Today, Section 179 is one of the few incentives included in any of the recent Stimulus Bills that actually helps small businesses. Although large businesses also benefit from Section 179 or Bonus Depreciation, the original target of this legislation was much needed tax relief for small businesses – and millions of small businesses are actually taking action and getting real benefits.

Essentially, Section 179 works like this:
When your business buys certain items of equipment, it typically gets to write them off a little at a time through depreciation. In other words, if your company spends $50,000 on a machine, it gets to write off (say) $10,000 a year for five years (these numbers are only meant to give you an example).

In fact, if a business could write off the entire amount, they might add more equipment this year instead of waiting over the next few years. That’s the whole purpose behind Section 179 – to motivate the American economy (and your business) to move in a positive direction. For most small businesses, the entire cost can be written-off on the 2017 tax return (up to $500,000).

2017 Deduction Limit = $510,000
This deduction is good on new and used equipment, as well as off-the-shelf software. To take the deduction for tax year 2017, the equipment must be financed/purchased and put into service between January 1, 2017 and the end of the day on December 31, 2017.

2017 Spending Cap on equipment purchases = $2,030,000
This is the maximum amount that can be spent on equipment before the Section 179 Deduction available to your company begins to be reduced on a dollar-for-dollar basis. This spending cap makes Section 179 a true “small business tax incentive” (because larger businesses that spend more than $2.5 million on equipment won’t get the deduction.)

Bonus Depreciation: 50% for 2017
Bonus Depreciation is generally taken after the Section 179 Spending Cap is reached. Please Note> Bonus Depreciation is available for new equipment only; used equipment qualifies for Section 179 Deduction, but does not qualify for Bonus Depreciation.

For more details on limits and qualifying equipment, as well as Section 179 Qualified Financing, please read this entire website carefully

Note: Please consult carefully with an accountant or tax expert to determine how best manage your situation.