The annual PTA Reflections Art Program returns

PTA Reflection Program poster 
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PTA Reflection Program poster Photo Credit:

Matt Ponikvar, Contributing Writer

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The PTA Reflections Program, an art contest in which  students around the country can submit their artwork, is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary. To coincide with it’s fiftieth, the program is holding its annual art contest with a “Heroes Around Me” theme. All entries are due Nov. 6, 2018 and students from grades Pre-K through twelfth  are welcome to send in submissions.

JoEllen Weingarten, the Council Chair for the Reflections Program, who oversees the Reflections committee for each school in the Solon School District, said she thinks[participating] benefits the students in more ways than one.

“It gives students an opportunity to express themselves in a creative manner,” Weingarten said. “Our three part slogan sums it up well: Reflect on the theme, create an original work, be recognized.”

The “Heroes Around Me” theme should focus on people close to you who you look up to. Sandy Shen, a senior at Solon High School, and award winner of the contest for the last two years said she thinks the theme for the contest is essential.

“I think the theme can provide creative direction, because I wouldn’t necessarily have drawn or written certain pieces had it not been for the program and it’s theme,” Shen said.

There are six categories for you to choose from with their own rules and guidelines: Visual Arts, Photography, Literature, Film, Dance Choreography and Music Composition.

There is certain criteria for the entry form as well.

“Each must contain a title for their work and an artist statement,” Weingarten said. “The artist statement communicates what inspired the work, how it relates to the theme and the contents of their work.”

The Program’s mission is to help students reap the benefits of their creativity by rewarding them for the art they’ve created. Jake Ressler, another SHS senior and last year’s Reflections winner in the Solon contest, loves submitting his art for the contest.

“When my work was recognized, it was the best feeling ever,” Ressler said “Students submit art that they put so much hard work into for months and finally people are able to praise them on their accomplishment.”

Ressler also described other benefits of the Program.

“Even if you don’t win, the committee gives great feedback and is always encouraging more and more artwork,” said Ressler. “The whole community surrounding PTA Reflections is very friendly, it’s fun to be with others who are as passionate about their art as you are.”

Ultimately, the program thinks it’s good for students to express themselves through their art and use their imagination.

“Everyone is capable of creating art and benefiting from its many positive side effects.” Said Weingarten.

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