The Power of Paint

Art is more than an inherent social good, it's a crucial, scientifically-substantiated boon to childhood development.

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The kids head home with something to show their families and friends for years to come. Photography by Jen Siska

Art, Meet Science
Recently, the scientific community has started backing up what Scaglione and other art lovers have long suspected. Dr. Eugene Beresin, M.D., M.A., a professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the 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. “There’s been research to show that student’s exposure to theater and music is associated with academic engagement, and with academic aspirations with university enrollment,” says Beresin. “We also know that, in addition to academic achievement, that the arts — music, drama, narratives and graphic arts — are associated with building other skills and abilities such as personal identity, positive self-esteem, life satisfaction and giving kids a sense of meaning and purpose.”
Park West Gallery is committed to helping the arts through its Park West Foundation, which has become the primary way the company gives back to the community. “We’re a facilitator, a funding source,” says Diane Pandolfi, the director of the Park West Foundation. “That makes us a springboard to allow good things to happen for so many different constituents.” Pandolfi cites initiatives like the foundation’s work with Autumn, support for the National PTA, as well as a series of spotlight programs that provide access to the world of art through exhibitions of well-known artists. Scaglione adds that the Park West Foundation has become as important to him as the Gallery itself. “The idea that I could have this life where I still have the opportunity to work with the artists, educate, bring art to the public,” says Scaglione. “I’m thrilled about that.”

 

The kids head home with something to show their families and friends for years to come. Photography by Jen Siska
The kids head home with something to show their families and friends for years to come.
Photography by Jen Siska

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