Students need a voice, and the PTA is working toward providing that through their annual art contest.
The PTA Art Reflections contest is a national competition for students in pre-K through 12th grade that started 50 years ago. Students can enter work in the form of dance choreography, film, literature, music, photography, or visual arts.
Every year, the students are presented with a theme that they can interpret and represent in their own way. Other than some general guidelines, everything is left up to the creativity of the students. There are prizes if a student wins at the state level, including the chance to showcase the student’s art at the California State PTA convention, an all-expense-paid trip, a $100 savings bond, and an Award of Excellence medal.
This year, the assigned theme is “Heroes around Me,” and students at Carlmont and schools across the nation will be creating their own renditions. Suzette Gulsen is in her first year of organizing the event.
“I am particularly inspired by this year’s theme, ‘Heroes Around Me,’” Gulsen said. “So many of us encounter everyday people who are quietly inspiring us through their actions, big and small. I can’t wait to see how our art students chose to honor them.”
Although it is a great opportunity, students have some constructive criticism to make it an even better program than it already is.
“I did it last year, and I did it this year,” said Connie Gong, a sophomore. “I think it’s pretty well organized, but I don’t really like the themes. Also, it would be more fun if more people participated.”
Art is an extremely important aspect of many peoples lives. It can be used to express oneself as an outlet or anything else one wants it to be. For sophomore Sofia Ochoa, who will be entering her art in this year’s contest, it is those things and more.
“Art, specifically drawing and sketching, is very important to me. It is a part of my daily life, as I use it as an outlet when I’m feeling stressed or anxious,” Ochoa said. “I can focus and put my energy into something that makes me feel accomplished and proud of my skill. I can then look back on it and observe how I can better it, keeping my mind on something positive.”
Art is special and important to many students, and the PTA saw that and took action to embrace that passion in children across the U.S.
“I believe that all students deserve a forum to express their talents and passions,” Gulsen said. “The Reflections Art Contest presents a great opportunity for our talented creative students to shine.”