There are some wonderful beginnings in Washington.

Last night the 20 Presidential Scholars in the Arts, among the 141 Presidential Scholars to be honored by President Reagan tomorrow, presented their prodigious talents in a free, public performance at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. They spanned every arts discipline, and came from all over the country. One young man, Bryan L. Goldberg, a 1985 graduate of St. Albans School, won his honor in the visual arts. He is a photographer and artist, who, along with the other visual arts honorees, put together a slide show with some taped remarks about their motivations and work as their contribution to the evening.

"I would like to be an exhibiting artist," explains Goldberg. He says that he doesn't want to become a commercial artist, but supposes that he may have to work commercially for a little while if he is to earn a living after he graduates from Brown University four years from now. In his three-minute monologue during the slide show, Goldberg talked about art as providing a "social release." Art has the ability to "create awareness," he says, making us "more aware of ourselves as people."

The Scholars in the Arts have spent a lot of time together since last Saturday, preparing their presentation. "They are very impressive," Goldberg says of the others, "very serious about what they're doing, and it really consumes them in a very full way. They don't say, 'I like art,' and then go on to become corporate lawyers."