2017-18 Reflections Arts Contest: Within Reach

Reflections is a National PTA arts competition that provides an opportunity for students to use their creative talents. This year’s theme is “Within Reach”

Reflections takes original student submissions, inspired by the theme, in the area of visual art, photography, literature, music composition, film and dance choreography. There is also an optional “special artist” category for students who have a disability, qualifying under the ADA.

Reflections starts at the local level. Local PTSAs organize a contest at their schools and select which works to advance to the city level. Works are then further judged with opportunities for advancement to state and national levels.

Key Dates:
Artwork due to SCPTSA: November 11, 2017  
Installation of Art at Seattle Center: November 30, 2017 9:00am-1:00 p.m.   
Art on Display: December 1, 2017 – January 7, 2018
Artists Reception: Sunday, December 3rd, 2017 2:00-3:00 p.m. Seattle Center Armory Loft  
Recognition Ceremony: Sunday, January 7, 2018 2:00-3:00 p.m. Seattle Center Loft Rooms 2 & 4 

**The due date is a week earlier than last year. If you need that extra week, let Council Reflections Chair Lindsay Yost know, and we can work out a plan. We’ll work with your needs.**

A couple of notes about this year’s Recognition Ceremony

  1. It will be held in the conference rooms in the Loft. We’re hoping the added privacy will allow us to control lighting and sound, making the experience extra special for our families. 
  2. Art will still be up during the ceremony, so families will be able to see the exhibits one last time (and take photos with their students’ awards). 


Refer to the sidebar to download rules for your category. There are big changes from last year! A few notables: 

  • The accepted size for photography is much smaller this year. 
  • DVD or USB drives are accepted for dance, film and music. We highly recommend using USB only. We’ve seen too many read errors with DVD’s and would hate for an entry to be disqualified because of it. 
  • We have added the ability to accept 3-D art!! Each entry will be submitted in the form of three photographs. This is new for all of us this year — there will be questions. We’ll work out the kinks together. 
  • Wrapping art is not necessarily required for submission to WA State. It’s been highly recommended (complete with horror stories of artwork getting damaged in transit), but it’s also cost prohibitive and can be a pain to do. We recommend wrapping delicate art, but will be lenient on accepting unwrapped artwork. 


  • Reflections HandbookThis handbook can make the program feel really complicated — remember that it can be tailored to fit your schools resources and needs. Success for one school might be 50 participants, while another school might only have one or two. 
  • State Reflections Webpage
  • National Reflections Webpage: Click the “Reflections Toolkit” link under the Reflections header for updated logos and poster resources, a link to register with National PTA and more. Click on “Awards and Events” to learn what national winners receive! 


SCPTSA has grant funds available for Reflections programs!  

Apply for grant funds for your school. Use the money for art supplies and/or awards. An idea for hosting a Reflections PTA activity is to schedule “think tanks” after school on early-release Wednesdays. Provide art supplies (with grant funds) and start the time with a group brainstorming session on what the theme – “Within Reach” – could mean to different people. Let students work on their own. No need for adult volunteers to be artists themselves. The students are the artists! Host 2-3 of them to allow students time to create a rough draft and then a final copy.  

For help getting started at your school, contact Council Reflections Chair Lindsay Yost