Events and Enrichment » Reflections Art Contest

Reflections Art Contest

California State PTA

The PTA Reflections Program is designed to enhance an arts education. It provides opportunities for students to express themselves and to receive positive recognition for their artistic efforts.

See our gallery of previous Palms artists!

2023-2024 theme: I am Hopeful Because...

Through the Palms Middle School PTSA, faculty members guide students through an opportunity to create and share their interpretation of the program theme from nature, portraiture, abstraction, and dreams, all expressed through the students' favorite means of expression, such as drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, photography, dance, music, writing, or film production.

The Reflections Art Show, an exhibition of contest entries by Palms students, is held in the Spring semester in the Library, along with a luncheon on the Palms patio for all students who entered the contest.

Boxes for submissions are in the Main and Magnet Offices.

2023-2024 Reflections chair: Cara Pohle

2023-2024 Schedule

  • Kick-off: early November 2023
  • Palms submission deadline: early December 2023
  • District deadline: December 2023
  • Palms Reflections Art Show: Spring 2024 semester

Questions and Answers

Who can participate?
All Palms students are eligible!
What does this year's theme mean?
It is up to each entrant to decide what it means to them.
What can I submit?
See the Types of Entries section below.
How many entries can I submit?
You can submit as many contest entries as you like, in as many categories as you like.
When is the deadline?
The deadline for submissions is usually in late November or early December.
Are there any prizes?
All participants will receive a Certificate, ribbon, a chance to win raffle prizes, and will all be included in the Reflections Art Show in Spring.

Outstanding submissions will represent Palms at the district PTA Exhibit in downtown Los Angeles.

Top entries from the district will compete at the state level!
How do I enter?
You fill fill out entry and consent forms, then turn them in at the Magnet Office.

Type of Entries

Entries may be in any of the following categories. All entries must be related to the Reflections Program theme.

The latest rules are provided by the California State PTA.

Reflection Categories
Type of entry
Must be a single original work of fiction or nonfiction. Prose, poetry, and drama are all accepted. The entry must not exceed 2,000 words. Entries may be hand written or typed, and may be illustrated, though Only literary content is judged.
Dance choreography
Must be an original choreographed work of one student recorded on a CD or DVD. It is suggested that the required artist statement be given at the beginning of the recording, in addition to being written on the Student Entry Form. There may be up to three dancers performing the choreography.
Film production
Must be an original work of fiction or nonfiction. Entries may be with or without sound. The student must be the director, screenwriter, and cameraperson. If using a computer, the student must do all the work. If the student chooses to appear in the production, a camera on a tripod may be used.
Musical composition
Must be an original piece using voice, instruments, or a combination of voice and instruments. Lyrics may or may not be included in vocal compositions. The composition is not to exceed five minutes. The use of composition software is permitted, but use of highly edited MIDI sequences or audio files is strongly discouraged. No musical notation is required.
Must be an original black-and-white or color image, or group of images, produced by a photographic process. The entry may incorporate such techniques as montage, multiple exposure, negative sandwiches, and photograms. Images may be manipulated conventionally or digitally. Added graphics over the image, including lettering, are not acceptable and the work may not exceed 11 inches by 14 inches, including a mat.
Special Artist
Students with physical, cognitive, or mental health challenges may submit artwork in the grade division most closely aligned with their abilities, or may submit entries in this category, where they can receive non-artistic accommodation and adult assistance.
Visual arts
Must be an original print, drawing, painting, photographic or other collage, metal etching or punch work, fiber work, or computer-generated artwork. Entries may not be more than 3/8 inch thick. This includes use of all two-dimensional materials such as string, fabric, and screening. Entries may exceed 24 inches by 30 inches, including a mat, and nothing three-dimensional (noodles, beans, beads, boxes, etc.) may extend off the surface.

Past Reflections Program Themes

  • 2022-2023: Show Your Voice!
  • 2021-2022: I Will Change the World By...
  • 2020-2021: I Matter Because...
  • 2019-2020: Look Within
  • 2018-2019: Heroes Around Me
  • 2017-2018: Within Reach
  • 2016-2017: What is Your Story?
  • 2015-2016: Let Your Imagination Fly
  • 2014-2015: The world would be a better place if...
  • 2013-2014: Believe, Dream, Inspire
  • 2012-2013: The Magic of a Moment
  • 2011-2012: Diversity Means...
  • 2010-2011: Together We Can
  • 2009-2010: Beauty Is...