As school year draws near, we turn our attention to the benefits of art in education. A fresh search immediately brought a New York Times article, prepared by Park West Gallery, before us. Here are a few highlights:

“Dr. Eugene Beresin, M.D., M.A., professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and executive director at The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds, has been doing research for years that shows how art contributes to childhood cognitive development. ‘Research shows that students’ exposure to theater and music is associated with academic engagement, academic aspirations and university enrollment,’ says Beresin. ‘We also know that the arts—music, drama, narratives and graphic arts—are associated with building personal identity, positive self-esteem, life satisfaction and giving kids a sense of meaning and purpose.’”

“A two-year study of Turnaround Arts schools showed a 22.5 percent increase in math scores and 12.6 percent improvement in reading for participants in the program.”

“Park West CEO Albert Scaglione, a former NASA contractor, believes that art facilitates ‘the work of being free to think about something never done before.’”

“Early exposure to the arts…can be a catalyst for years of creative thinking to follow.”

This post at has information on the benefits of art for very young children:

Artist’s Workshop Annual Show & Sale—August brings the ever-popular annual show and sale of the Artist’s Workshop. This year’s exhibition will be on display August 5–28.

And the Music Played On…Art Presence has received donations of numerous musical instruments, including 11 electric guitars, 7 acoustic guitars, 2 keyboards, an electric drum set, a computer, headphones, mic stands, amps, etc. Attempts to find a home for them brought no results, so they sat at the Art Center collecting dust. That is, until one of our member artists, Debbie Earley, and her husband Jim, purchased them all, then donated them to Ruch School for their new music program! We thank them for the generous amount they paid to Art Presence and the incredible gift they have given to the school.

Art Presence Offsite Exhibits

LAST CHANCE! Pioneer Village: “Elaine Witteveen: A Retrospective.” Final exhibition of paintings by Elaine Witteveen continues through the end of August. Purchase the painting of your choice by this venerated member of the southern Oregon art community before her remaining works go up for auction with the rest of her personal possessions!

ENDING SOON! Jacksonville Library, Naversen Room: “Photos and Sketches and Apps” Nancy Bardos. Bardos’ exhibition of photography and iPhoneography at the Jacksonville Library continues through August 10. Nancy’s unique images reveal a perspective on the world that encompasses both its beauty and its humor.

Medford Library: “Egyptian Mythology” by Zoe West. West’s exhibit of ancient Egyptian-style artwork expressing a lighthearted visual commentary on modern life continues through August.

What’s Happening Upstairs?—Figure Drawing Hiatus: Our Monday life drawing studio takes a break for the summer. We will resume on September 5.

Reserve our upstairs room for your class, workshop or meeting! Contact Anne Brooke at 541-941-7057.

Featured image above is “In to the Gloaming” pastel by Peter Coons