Monday, February 8, 2016

Five Things You Will Miss if You Skip Assets 2016

By Christine Guernsey, ISA CAPP, President

It goes without saying that if you forgo Assets 2016, Expanding Horizons, you'll miss out a host of things that you may already be aware of—a stellar educational program lined with top appraisal industry speakers, a chance to meet both new and tried-and-true vendors, and the opportunity for excellent networking with guests and fellow members. But there are a handful of conference experiences that you might not even realize you are missing out on. 

Here's a list of just 5 reasons to not skip this year's conference.

1. Dallas Art Fair (8th year)
— April 14-17
Listen to what others who aren’t easily impressed said about last year’s fair.

Nate Freeman of The New York Observer: "It’s a city where an unending stream of openings, loft parties and after parties attended by an impressive number of visiting New Yorkers, signaled the arrival of Dallas, to the must-attend art world circuit."

The Town & Country Social Calendar: "With new international exhibitors, including Galerie Perrotin, this fair is the one to watch."

Lisa Perry with Women's Wear Daily: "I’m very surprised and delighted by what is going on in Dallas with the arts scenes. It’s very cool, very interesting. There was a great vibe, great energy last night at the Art Fair."

Need I say more? You can attend the Dallas Art Fair by signing up for the ISA Fine Art Tour (Friday, April 15).

2. Surprise Vendor Give-Away for Conference Attendees
I’m having a hard time keeping this a secret, but let me give you a hint: If you are at conference, you are going to receive a gift from one of our sponsors that promises to be a game that will save your appraisal business time and money! I can’t wait to see your reaction when you find out what it is.

3. Main Street Arts Fair April 14-17
Don’t let the name fool youit’s not just all about art. The Main Street Arts Fair is an annual favorite held in downtown Fort Worth stretching five blocks and consisting of booths displaying art and assorted other goodies, every food choice imaginable and literally hundreds of performers on three stages, rockin' and rollin' for four days at the city's largest music festival. It will be easy to get there toojust walk out of the hotel and you're there. It will stretch from the Hilton all the way down to Sundance Square. While we want you to attend all of our scheduled programs, it would be a fun thing to enjoy after hours, complete with the chance to grab a quick dinner without having to sit in a restaurant.
4. Monday BBQ and Margarita Tour — Monday, April 18
For the first time ever at conference, we have scheduled a Monday night event for those who are still in the Dallas area, whether it's for the Requalification course or simply because you're not leaving until Tuesday. Our guide “Billy Bob” Delp will entertain you as he tours highlights of Fort Worth and takes you to the best spots for Texas barbecue and margaritas. Price includes transportation, food, and gratuity for our tour leader. (Alcohol is not included, except at the final stop of the tour.) You can find more information here.

5. Freshen Up Your Professional Photo — April 16 & 17
Natalia Nakamura, my portrait photographer and the person who took the picture you see at the top of this post, makes everyone look good! (Seriously, I think she has a magic camera.) She has agreed to take conference attendees' pictures, so come update your photo for business cards and your website for $60.

Register for Assets 2016 today and open yourself to an array of experiences...some programmed with the conference, others hosted by the city itself. It's going to be a fantastic time!

Friday, February 5, 2016

ASK LEON: Can paintings by artists with no published sale records be sold at a charity's silent auction for fair market value?

ISA members are invited to send in their questions on all things appraising and education to Leon Castner, ISA CAPP. Leon will share his answers on the ISA Now Blog. Please send questions to

A potential client has just donated two paintings that will be sold at silent auction for a non-profit. There are no published sale records of paintings' artists. Can the items sell for the FMV? That is assuming they exceed $5000 and need an appraisal?

Answer: That’s a tricky question since it’s a charity auction. Sometimes items bring far more than their fair market value (FMV) because it is a charity and the money is going to a good cause. People get caught up in the event action. Sometimes items bring far less than their FMV because it’s the wrong market and people don’t appreciate or even know about the item. For example, I used to be the auctioneer at many live charity auctions. It always seemed that original artwork by a non-published or listed artist did poorly, unless it was one of local reputation that everyone knew about. Sports memorabilia, tickets to a sporting event, and signed balls by famous players always did better than FMV, often due to the type of crowd and the impression that the items were worth more than they really were. In some instances, due to the drinks and hospitality offered at the event, local competition developed among community figures, and bidding became a game of outlasting the other party, with each table of revelers egging the bidder on. Good for the charity, but not remotely viable for use as a comparable.

You must remember that the buyers of goods at charity auctions are only allowed to deduct any amounts over the fair market value of the items. This creates an additional dilemma in that they want to get a good deal (under fair market value), but they can only deduct the amount if it isn’t a good deal (over fair market value).

The conclusion is that charity auction results are usually not good indicators of fair market value. There are too many variables in the situation. Better to find comparable sales or use a parallels in another venue to establish the fair market value of the items.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Make Your Nominations for 2016 ISA Awards

By Christine Vincent, ISA AM, Awards Committee Chair

Assets 2016and the welcoming heat of the Texas sunwill be here sooner than we think, but right now it’s January and for many of us that means cold! Winter storms and frigid weather are being predicted for most of the countrythe perfect time to hunker down and curl up with a good book.

Well…think again, dear colleagues!
Now is the perfect time to send in your nominations for the 2016 ISA Awards! As you huddle beneath your blanket for warmth, take some time to reflect on the effort, dedication and contributions that so many of your ISA colleagues have made, not only for the advancement of the ISA and the appraisal profession but for each of us as individual appraisers as well. 

Is there someone who deserves recognition but flies under the radar? Is there a fellow appraiser who has generously or consistently provided you with assistance? Is there someone new to the group whose enthusiasm and efforts should be honored and encouraged? Is your ISA Chapter growing in numbers or deeds? We want to hear from you and celebrate the achievements and spirit of these very special people…our colleagues, our friends.  

These deserving individuals and chapters will be honored during our April 15-18 conference in Dallas-Fort Worth.      

This year we are taking award nominations based on eight categories:

International Society of Appraisers 2016 Award Categories
  • Lamp of Knowledge
  • Leadership
  • Rising Leader
  • Distinguished Service
  • Chapter of the Year
  • Publication/Media/Marketing
  • Special Merit
  • Service
Please take a look at the 2016 Award Nomination Form for descriptions of the award categories and requirements for each nomination.

I thank you so much for taking the time to consider those colleagues deserving of honor and recognition! Completed Award Nomination Forms must be submitted using the online form by Friday, March 4. If you have any questions, please contact me via email at

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

If You Love Art, You Will Love Dallas-Fort Worth for Assets 2016!

By Kim Kolker, ISA AM
As chair of ISA's Fine Art Committee, I have been very involved in planning our great specialty tours for Assets 2016. Here are my top 10 reasons to join us at Assets 2016, April 15-18.

It isn't often you get to just show up and enjoy the ride, but this is one of them! Our Assets 2016 tour for Fine Art appraisers includes The Nasher Collection at North Park Center, the Dallas Museum of Art, The Dallas Art Fair, and a self-guided tour at The Nasher Sculpture Center.

Antiques and Residential Contents appraisers will tour Pittet Architecturals, The Trammel Crow Asian Art Museum, and The Dallas Museum of Art’s Decorative Arts and Modernist collection.

Both tour groups will have the opportunity to self-tour the Nasher Sculpture Center.

Kimbell Art Museum
In 2009, the Kimbell Art Museum acquired a terrifying Michelangelo painting titled "The Torment of Saint Anthony," believed to be created when Michelangelo was 12 or 13 years old. According to, "…[T]his work is the first painting by Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475–1564) to enter an American collection, and one of only four known easel paintings generally believed to come from his hand." While
there, step around the corner to see Caravaggio’s famous "The Cardsharps." The Kimbell Museum is approximately two miles walking distance from our conference hotel.

8. Richard Serra’s "VORTEX"
"Vortex" at The Modern
After you’ve had a nice visit at the Kimbell, walk across the street to the Modern Art Museum. On your way there, stop at Serra’s 67-foot tall "Vortex," go inside, and YELL. Yes, that’s right. This is a great time to let off steam by stomping your feet and hitting the walls too. The structure will echo your delight or pathos with equal vigor and resonance. The Modern is approximately two miles from the conference hotel.

Amon Carter Museum, exterior
Amon G. Carter has quite a reputation in Fort Worth, and Texas as a whole. He was friends with Will Rogers, and an avid collector of Remington and Russell. You’ll find evidence of these relationships as you walk outside the Modern. Straight ahead is the art deco building—The Will Rogers Colliseum. To your right, behind the Kimbell Museum, is the Amon Carter Museum (ACM). The Amon Carter Museum features an extensive collection of paintings, works on paper and bronzes by Remington and Russell, as well as an exceptional collection of 19th and 20th century American paintings, sculptures and works on paper. The ACM is one of the top American art museums in the country. Located across the street from the Modern and Kimbell, it is also approximately two miles from the conference hotel.
Amon Carter Museum, interior

The Dallas Museum of Art is proud of "The Icebergs," a 64 ½ x 112 ½ inch oil on canvas, and for good reason. It’s simply beautiful. While you’re there, make at least a second stop at the Wendy & Emery Reves Collection of fine and decorative arts. A 16,500 square foot recreation of their villa in the south of France features both their fine furnishings and paintings from the late 1800s—including Pissarro, Bonnard, Cezanne, Courbet, Manet, Monet, etc. Note: The collection does rotate. You can visit this museum if you sign up for the Fine Art Tour on April 15.

Venture onto the Southern Methodist University Campus in Dallas for the wonderful collection of Spanish art held at The Meadows Museum. The strength of both their exhibitions and permanent collection is a tribute to its founder, Mr. Algur H. Meadows, who is quoted on the museum website: "Yes, I mean as I said originally, to build a small Prado in Texas." This is a great gem in the metroplex.

Jonathan Borofsky (American, born 1942)
Five Hammering Men, 1982 Painted Wood with Steel, Aluminum, Foan,
Bondo and Electric Motors Each 175 x 6 inches
Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Collection,
North Park Center, Dallas, Texas

Opened by Patsy and Raymond Nasher in 1965, and holding an incredible collection of 20th and 21st Century fine art inside and out, North Park Center in Dallas opens early every-day for "mall walkers," those so inclined to walk at 6:00 a.m. An interesting mixture of top retailers interspersed with carefully curated artworks and planted gardens, this mall is still run by Nancy A. Nasher and her husband David J. Haemisegger. Artists in the collection include Borofsky, Rosenquist, Warhol, Lichtenstein, Dine, Stella, etc. Nothing this mall offers is second-rate.

Dallas fought hard to get Mr. Nasher to keep his modern sculpture collection in Dallas. And we’re lucky we won out. The collection sits inside and outside, complemented by large magnolia trees and Renzo Piano’s building that houses it. Be prepared to find art that is sure to both confront your expectations and make you smile.

When you leave the Nasher Sculpture, walk straight across the street, and you’ll find the Crow Collection. It’s hard to miss the peaceful image of the Ming Dynasty Chinese bronze statue at the center of a fountain. This unique multi-tiered building houses a collection from China, Japan, India, Korea and Southeastern Asia, spanning from historical objects to contemporary pieces.

Texas has many cultures, landscapes and peoples. We have great art, and we also have a "cowboy culture," from the Dallas Cowboys Football team to numerous references to the historical cowboy of the West. Having said that, while you are here in Texas, be sure to buy yourself some "sh__ kicking" boots in the historical Fort Worth Stockyards. You’ll have them the next time someone asks you to authenticate the Pollock they bought at the Salvation Army. The stockyards are 3.5 miles from the conference hotel.

S—t Kicking Boots from Leddy’s
(where all self-respecting cowpokes shop for custom fit boots)


Consult with the Hilton Hotel Concierge for taxi service in Fort Worth or to the airport. To get outside of the Sundance Square area in Fort Worth, I would recommend using Uber, rather than taxis. Uber can be easily signed up for via an app on your smart phone (see note below). Most people drive in DFW, and the available taxi service is typically slower and more expensive.

Train Service to Dallas from Hilton Hotel
Take the TRE train to Dallas; the Trinity Railway Express stop is within walking distance of the hotel. For more information and schedules, go to their website.

Once in Dallas, get off the train at Union Station. Once there, use Uber or a taxi to take you the short ride to the arts district (a few miles away), North Park Center or The Meadows Museum. The Dallas Arts District contains the Dallas Museum of Art, The Nasher Sculpture Center, The Asian Art Museum, and Klyde Warren Park, among others.

PLEASE NOTE ABOUT THE TRAIN TO DALLAS: Trains operate Monday through Saturday. No scheduled service on Sunday. The T & P station and the ITC stations are located ½ mile from the hotel in different parts of downtown Fort Worth. The train ride to Dallas takes about one hour. car services
Using is an easy and inexpensive way to get around where you need to, whether that be in Fort Worth or Dallas. Create an account with Uber and download their app on your phone. Whenever you need a ride, you can use Uber to pick you up fairly quickly. They also offer different price points for larger or more economical cars.


I hope something piqued your interest on my top-10 list! If you haven’t already, be sure to register soon for Assets 2016.