2020–2021 PTA Reflections Art Contest
We would like to invite your child to participate in the Reflections Art Contest this year. Reflections is a National PTA program that encourages students to express themselves artistically in one of the areas listed below. All entries will need to be submitted electronically by Friday, October 30.
Your child is encouraged to create a work based on the theme:
“I MATTER BECAUSE…”
There are six different categories, and students can enter as many categories as they would like. With our school’s emphasis on Multiple Intelligences, this program provides a great opportunity to nurture your child’s individual talents. The winning entries will receive prizes and will go on to compete at the county, state, and national levels.
The six categories for entries are:
- Dance Choreography – (must be .MOV or .MP4)
- Film Production – (must be .MOV or .MP4)
- Musical Composition – (.MP3 or .MP4; audio files only, no video files)
- Visual Arts – with 2D or 3D artwork options
Please note that on the entry form there is a place where they should give their entry a title and make an artist’s statement. Their response to how their entry relates to (and was inspired by) the theme in the artist’s statement carries a lot of weight in the judging process at each level of the contest. Also, having a title other than “I Matter Because” helps it stand out in the crowd.
All entries need to be electronically submitted by Friday, October 30.
For details, category specifications, and entry forms, please visit http://meckptareflections.weebly.com/. This link also has a short video that discusses the rules and features CMS entries from past years to give you an idea of all the creativity just waiting to be expressed.
Students may enter as many times as they wish, but a separate entry form must be filled out for each submission. Click on the button below to fill out the form and to upload a digital version of your entry. Click HERE for directions on how to name the file you will be uploading. PLEASE NOTE: You must use a non-CMS issued computer and a personal (not CMS issued) email to access this form. If you do not have access to a non-CMS device, email for different instructions.
2020–21 Reflections FAQ
What is Reflections?
The PTA Reflections Arts program gives students in grades PK–12 an opportunity to be recognized for bringing a theme to life in their artwork through one of six art expression areas: dance choreography, musical composition, film, photography, literature, and visual arts.
What is the theme?
The 2020–2021 theme is “I Matter Because…”
What does it mean when you say the contest is “virtual” this year?
Most of the contest rules and format will be the same as in previous years. There are a few major differences:
- There is an easy-to-use online entry form and students will submit their creations electronically via that form.
- Visual arts students will take a photo of their work (for 3D entries, three photos and an optional video) to submit. No entries will be physically collected, but please hold on to them. County winners will be displayed at the awards ceremony in the spring.
- Judging will be done remotely using the digital files that students submit.
- We will announce winners via video and email in mid-November.
- Winners will receive a digital Target gift card.
Where do I find the rules?
You can find a copy of the general program rules and the rules for each category at this website: meckptareflections.weebly.com
What’s the due date and where do I find the entry form?
Entries are due Friday, October 30. You will submit your entry and the entry form electronically this year. You can find the entry form by going to the following website and clicking “Sharon” from the list of schools. meckptareflections.weebly.com/studentsparents.html
What if I cannot submit my entry electronically?
How do I win?
Entries are judged based on artistic merit, creativity, mastery of the medium and *most importantly* the interpretation of the theme. It is very important to give some thought to the Title and Artistic Statement. A well-developed concept is just as important as technique. Entries will be judged on how well the student uses their artistic vision to portray the theme.
What happens if I win?
All entries will be judged at the Sharon level. A 1st, 2nd and 3rd place will be awarded to the top entries in each category in each age bracket (K–2 and 3–5). Those winning student entries will receive a Target gift card and will progress to county-wide competition. Additional entries may be awarded Honorable Mentions, which may also earn advancement to the higher level competition. We will announce the winners for Sharon Elementary in mid-November, and pictures of winning students will be in the yearbook.
What is the Special Artists division?
The Special Artist division welcomes students from all grades and abilities and offers non-artistic accommodations (e.g. adaptive technology; transcribing; holding a camera) for students to participate fully in PTA Reflections. Assistants must refrain from being involved in the artistic process (e.g. developing an artist statement, choreography, music lyrics, storyboards, etc.). Student recognition and awards are announced as part of the Special Artist division.
Can I use a project that I made for another assignment, show, or competition?
No, Reflections projects must be made exclusively for this competition. This is thematic art and therefore requires the student to think about the theme, be inspired, and create art that expresses what comes in their mind when they think of the theme.
Can a friend and I submit an entry together?
No. Entries must be created and submitted by one person. No group work.
What situations can lead to my entry being disqualified?
- Occasionally, entries submitted to the program are ineligible. Make sure that all film production entries are filmed entirely by the student. No one else can touch the video camera. Tripods are great. If we see the camera is panning while the participant is in the frame, we know someone else is filming and it’s no longer admissible.
Copyrighted images are not allowed, so no Mickey Mouse, Black Panther, Pokemon, etc., and no online clipart.
- Visual Art submissions cannot be framed.
- Pre-programmed tracks provided by computer software cannot be used for musical composition.
- Most importantly, only student-inspired, student-made artwork will progress. Entries must be the idea of the student and no one else can coach the idea or assist in the actual art of the student.
- Other common disqualifying factors include plagiarism, resubmission, entries that do not meet the rules for size for that category, and entries that are submitted in the wrong electronic format.
How many categories can I make an entry for and is there a limit to the number of entries I submit?
Students can enter as many categories as they like, as many times as they want. There is no limit. However, we request that the students are respectful of the judges’ time by not compromising quality in their work in order to enter more submissions.
Do you have any tips for successful entries?
- The “Artist’s Statement” is very important to the judging process. It is your chance to tell the judges directly how to interpret your entry.
- Try to think of a title that is specific to your entry instead of simply using the theme as your title.
- For dance entries, make sure that the music in the video can be clearly heard, and remove any distracting items from the background.
- If you are using a smartphone or tablet to record a dance or film entry, shoot it in landscape (horizontal). Also make sure that the room is bright enough.
- For the literature category, entries should reflect grade-appropriate spelling and grammar. Adults should not edit the work; judges will notice. It’s fine to hand write an entry, but make sure it can be read easily. Avoid using fancy, distracting ink (or fonts if typed).
- For musical composition pieces, make sure the recording is not distorted. Check the sound volume. It’s okay to use computer software, but the music must be composed by the student. Pre-programmed tracks provided by software cannot be used.
- No collages and no added graphics can be used for photography submissions. Try to submit the original digital .jpg for photography entries instead of taking a photo of the photo.
- Include only the art in the submitted pictures of visual art entries. Crop out any background material, like tables and walls. Make sure there is enough light to get a good quality photo.
- If submitting a 3D visual art entry, you may, in addition to the 3 photos, include a short video, 15 seconds or less, of the entry. Email the video to Include your name, school, grade, and title of your entry.
- Many winners have been participating in Reflections for years. If you don’t win this year, don’t give up! Keep trying.
Can I see previous winning entries?
- Yes! Please go to www.ncpta.org/index.php/programs/reflections-arts-program/ and scroll down to see state winners from the last nine years.
Can I submit a theme to be considered for future contests?
- Yes! There’s a competition for that too! Here is a link for that contest: www.ncpta.org/reflections/theme.aspx