Park West Gallery Emphasizes the Importance of Art Education in Schools

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Students at Barton Elementary show off their student portraits. (Photo courtesy of Doug de Forest)

Students at Barton Elementary show off their student portraits. (Photo courtesy of Doug de Forest)

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. June 13, 2016 – Park West Gallery believes in the importance of art. Art has always been a medium for people to channel their creativity. It’s a form of expression, and those who enjoy it love to create.  For years, art was an essential part of almost every American school district.

2001’s No Child Left Behind Act categorized the arts as a core academic subject. The act’s increased emphasis on test scores, however, gave way to more focus on technical subjects in schools instead of art classes. Unfortunately, this may actually be more hurtful than helpful. A study of Missouri public schools found that schools with a greater art education presence generally exhibited better standardized test scores.

Don’t believe art education matters? Take a look at the data from schools in the Turnaround Arts program. Between 2011 and 2014, participating schools have experienced a 22.5 percent and 12.6 percent improvement in math and reading proficiency.

Beyond test scores, it’s difficult to quantify the importance of art. A Rand Corporation report stated that art can be used as a creative outlet and connects students to the world. Reportedly, art programs in schools give underprivileged students better experiences to help prepare for adulthood.

Studies like this are why the Park West Foundation works to bring back art education. In February 2016, Park West artist Autumn de Forest worked with Turnaround Arts, a program that brings art education into low-performing schools to improve overall educational standing, to teach a class at Barton Elementary in San Bernardino, California. Park West Foundation provided the supplies and Autumn taught the kids how to paint self-portraits.

In an article by T Brand Studio of the New York Times, Park West CEO Albert Scaglione discussed the importance of his foundation.

“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,” he said. “I’m thrilled about that.”

 

About Park West Gallery:

Founded in 1969, Park West Gallery has connected artists to more than 1.8 million fine art collectors through cruise ship art auctions and via its public art gallery in Michigan. Park West Gallery creates an entertaining, education and welcoming environment that ignites a passion for the arts and offers an incomparable collecting experience.

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