Silent Song sculpture, located in Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver
Silent Song is a wall mounted, site specific sculpture located in a small chapel in Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver. The sculpture, commissioned by the church to coincide with the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, was blessed and dedicated on February 13, 2010.
A wall-mounted text accompanied the piece and is placed on the chapel wall adjacent to the sculpture which is approximately 8x4 feet in size.The text reads in part: Silent Song is intended to evoke remembered or imagined sounds and can be considered a metaphor for many diverse individual voices conjoined together in musical patterns.The artists have used the retired organ parts of the Casavant & Frere organ installed in Christ Church cathedral in 1949 which had incorporated pipes from the previous organ.The Casavant organ served the congregation for 54 years and now 1,700 of its pipes live on in the new Kenneth Jones tracker action pipe organ installed in Christ Church cathedral in 2004.
My involvement began when I was asked by the Church to appraise the sculpture, as the artists desired to donate the piece to the Church in return for a tax receipt. I undertook the assignment cognisant of the fact that standard appraisal protocol would require a methodology based on cost approach, rather than a cost-comparison approach, for evaluation.
This approach relies on the artist or manufacturer to supply a statement of cost of labour and materials to include a reasonable expectation of profit. The number of hours involved in production and the hourly labour cost is accepted uncontested, in good faith and no attempt is made to verify that information. The appraisal is therefore based on the wholesale price of the sculpture and does not reflect additional price anomalies associated with a retail environment. Intangibles associated with artistic merit and those of site specificity and uniqueness are not taken into consideration, however the commitment of the artist, as evidenced by previous works and critical peer review in the art world is considered.
For income tax purposes, donations of art assets are known as gifts in kind and are identified as listed personal property, however a donation by an artist of his/her work is considered to be from inventory. Donations can be made to a variety of charitable organizations ranging from those that support arts and culture, religious activities, the environment and sports and recreation.
Upon receipt of the donation, the receiving institution issues a tax receipt for the appraised fair market value of the artwork. Usually an artwork with a value below $1,000 does not require a written appraisal as the receiving institutions in-house staff performs the evaluation. However for items over $1,000, the receiving institution requires a written appraisal by an independent qualified appraiser. The cost of appraisal is usually paid for by the receiving institution. The difference between the original purchased price and the appraised value is subject to 50% capital gain.
Charitable donations of artworks of significant cultural property as determined by The Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board are not subject to capital gains. However, charities receiving gifts of cultural property are subject to a penalty tax in certain circumstances if they dispose of the property within 10 years. The tax receipt is issued for the appraised fair market value.
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