A Reflection on Heroes


Juliette Fournier

The theme of this year’s Reflections contest is “Heroes Around Me.”

Juliette Fournier, Editor

Drawing, painting, writing, dancing, composing, filming, taking photos. For the past 50 years, the PTA has organized Reflections, a contest which allows students from Pre K-12 to participate. Students submit anything from drawings to choreographies to literature. All entries are based around a theme chosen by the PTA each year.

This year, 2018-2019, the theme is “Heroes Around Me.” Artists can choose any way to convey it in their art. For instance, one might take a picture of a fireman or draw a picture of their mom. What makes the contest so appealing is that the theme can be interpreted however the student artist chooses.

Student art is judged at different levels, starting locally and leading up to the national level. Professionals working as volunteers critic the artwork and choose which entries win. The official categories that are considered in the Reflections contest include Dance Choreography, Film Production, Literature, Music Composition, Photography, and Visual Arts. The PTA also recognizes that elementary school kids will not necessarily be as developed or show as much skill as a high school teenager. Therefore, they split up judging based on grade levels: Preschool to 2nd grade, 3rd grade to 5th grade, 6th grade to 8th grade, and 9th grade to 12th grade.

Reflections has also introduced a new judging section specifically geared towards students with disabilities. In the Reflections contest, students are not usually allowed to receive any outside help or assistance from an adult or teacher. However, if students have disabilities or health problems that fall under the guidelines of the American Disabilities Act, they can choose to enter as a Special Artist. The main differences with this entry are that the student can receive help or assistance with the artwork if necessary. Students with disabilities can still decide whether or not to enter as a Special Artist or as part of the general population.

Students considering entering or who have entered are not only able to showcase their creativity, they can gain exposure to the art world and actually be able to display their work. Artist’s work is judged constantly so entering a contest like this allows the artists of YLHS to have a glimpse of what professional artists have to face. Mrs. Fritz (staff) encourages students to participate in Reflections since “it is such a great experience to get exposure and have people recognize you as an artist.” Students are also able to “witness the work of others and how they interpreted the theme.” Whether a student wins or loses this competition, there are always more competitions or opportunities for presenting one’s work. In fact, the Yorba Linda Public Library is hosting its own art competition, Exposed, whose theme is “Out of Focus.” Those students who were unable to participate in Reflections or who simply want more exposure can submit artwork until November 8th. Additional contests are available throughout the year as well. Mrs. Fritz suggests the contest hosted by the Yorba Linda Women’s Club or another contest held by the Placentia Art Association. Not only can students receive good exposure, “they should enter any contest they can…[for a chance to win]… great prize money.”

For those still planning to enter, the entry deadline has been extended to Wednesday, October 17th. Students should submit their works to the YLHS library by the end of the school day. To see the rules for submitting a piece, see the following document or check out the link to the official Fourth District PTA website for more information.