Art. So many different things can be defined as art, yet they’re all unified under one harmonious category. Some artwork inspires, sparking capable individuals to turn dreams and thoughts into full-fledged infernos for the communal good. This is what the Montgomery County Council of PTA’s Reflections contest strives to do.
Sponsored by the National PTA, the competition is not only a creative program for Montgomery County students to address an annual theme through the arts and writing, but also an eloquent way to bring artistic students together throughout the entire county. This year’s theme is “Believe, Dream, Inspire.” The categories in the program consist of Dance Choreography, Film Production, Literature, Musical Composition, Photography and Visual Arts. Students are separated into four main divisions: Primary (kindergarten to the second grade), Intermediate (third through fifth grades), Middle School and High School. This year, thirty-five Montgomery County Public Schools participated in the contest.
For this contest, three winners are determined at the students’ local schools. They then compete against students from other schools in the county. Three winners of the county competition are forwarded to the state level, and one state winner in each category will be forwarded to the national competition. Prizes and certificates are awarded at each level.
According to MCCPTA Reflections Chair Chris McDermott, the state winners will not be announced until early March.The list of countywide competition winners can be accessed at http://www.mccpta.org/Reflections.html.
“Whether a student won an award or not, they should know that there was great appreciation for their unique and personal art,” McDermott says.Whether a student won an award or not, they should know that there was great appreciation for their unique and personal art. Whether a student won an award or not, they should know that there was great appreciation for their unique and personal art.
The subject matter used by contestants ranges from the battles of a young girl with leukemia to the forthcoming of a scientific breakthrough by a blind teen. Many contestants claim that they’ve put forth more than ten hours to prepare for their entry.
“There are students in every school who are thriving in their arts-related classes and there are also students who make art in whatever spare time they have. Reflections gives them an opportunity to share their creativity and skill with others,” says Tabatha Yeats-Lonske, the PTA Reflections chair at Richard Montgomery High School and mother of a former national-level Reflections winner. “I love being able to help make that happen. I have seen kids learn something about persistence, too. One student entered for five years — winning at the school level initially, then county a couple of times, and finally at state and national. But being creative feeds your spirit whether you win or lose.”
All submitted entries will be showcased in a countywide gallery sponsored by MCCPTA in mid-March. Students interested in participating in next year’s competitions should consider attending the event.
Article by Jozette Allah-Mensah, MoCo Student staff writer
Image from the Montgomery County Council of PTAs