National PTA Reflections welcomes, free of charge, students from all grades and abilities to explore and be involved in the arts. Annually, thousands of students will reflect on a common theme and create original works of art in the categories of Dance Choreography, Film Production, Literature, Music Composition, Photography and Visual Arts.

The arts—and the National PTA Reflections program—support student success and serve as a valuable tool for building strong partnerships in your school community. Celebrate arts learning in your school community with Reflections.


Friday, March 27


It seems that in my attempt to inform families of upcoming Reflections events I have, inadvertantly, confused some of you.  I'm truly sorry, that was absolutely not my intention!  I'm going to put a general explanation of the Reflections program here which, I hope, will answer most of your questions. For information about upcoming events, please see the sections that follow.

Reflections is a National PTA arts program that was started in 1969 by the (then) Colorado State PTA President, Mary Lou Anderson.  It has, in fact, since become an international program as PTAs in Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and US military schools overseas have begun to participate in this program.

Each year a theme contest is held where students can submit ideas for upcoming years.  Entries are narrowed down to 5 per state and then the National PTA Reflections Committee makes a final selection.

Reflections uses a judging process that assists in narrowing down the number of entries as artwork passes through different levels of PTA.  In Utah we generally have between 10,000 and 13,000 entries submitted by our students each year. Nationally, around 300,000 entries are submitted by students each year.  

PTA parents volunteer their time and work with Utah PTA to learn about the Reflections program and then host it in their school by informing students of the theme, distributing rules and entry forms, collecting and judging artwork and recognizing students for their efforts. This can be a time consuming job and our PTA parents and leaders have been as outstanding this year as in the past years, and have done their very best to serve our students who want to participate in the arts.

There are 2 awards given by PTA - the Award of Excellence and the Award of Merit. The Award of Excellence award is given to the entries that are judged to be the best in their category.  These entries then move on to the next level of judging.  The Award of Merit recipients are the runners up and are recognized at the school (council and region) level. If a school (council and region) desires, they can also offer additional awards such as Honorable Mention or Participation awards.  National and Utah PTA encourages schools to hold an assembly or event of some sort that recognizes not only the students who receive awards but all students that participate.  If this is done and how it is handled is up to the school/council/regin.

How artwork advances in Utah.  In Utah, our state is broken into 21 Regions.  11 of those regions are large enough that they are then broken into Councils (we have 56 total.)  The council and region leaders work with Utah PTA to train and oversee the PTA programs held in the schools.  When the Award of Excellence winners advance from their school they move to Council or Region, depending on your area.  Students artwork must receive an Award of Excellence to advance through these levels and then to Utah PTA. If they receive an Award of Excellence at the state level, they are then advanced to National PTA for another and final round of judging. Each level in the PTA is allowed to forward on up to 35 entries - 5 for each of the 7 arts categories.

On March 2nd Utah sent 28 entries to National PTA for judging.**  At this point in the program Utah PTA returns the artwork that did not receive an award to the students at their schools through the Regions and Councils.  Winning entries are kept at the state office for display at other state events and trainings.  (Because of the display at The Leonardo this year, artwork will not be returned until September.)

** The 3 Dimensional Artwork category is a Utah only category.  Winning entries do not advance above the state level.  They are recognized at the state's Awards Ceremony.

List of students who have Reflections artwork at the state level

There has been some confusion about which students have actually advanced to the state level for judging and will have their artwork displayed at The Leonardo.  I have compiled a list of all of the artwork that I received here at the office for judging and I am posting it at the bottom of this section.  The list is quite long but should be easily navigated if you look for arts category first then age division.

3D - 3 Dimensional Artwork
Lit - Literature
Photo - Photography
VA - Visual Art

H - High School (Grades 9-12)
M - Middle School (Grades 6-8)
I - Intermediate (Grades 3-5)
P - Primary (Grades PreK-2)
SA - Special Artists


Artwork At State

 Reflections 2014-2015

"The World Would Be A Better Place If ..."

For all State winners please download the spreadsheet at the bottom of this section

Award of Excellence: These entries - except for the 3D category - have been sent to National PTA for further judging.
The 3D category is a Utah-only category and are only recognized up to the state level.


Award of Merit and Honorable Mention: Will be recognized at the State Awards Ceremonies.

Utah PTA Reflections Awards Ceremony

The Awards Ceremonies
for Utah Reflections will be held on 

Saturday, May 2nd at The Leonardo
for students who received an Award of Excellence, Award of Merit or Honorable Mention.

This will be by invitation only and students will receive a letter in that mail that will have specifics on times, parking, etc.

If you are unsure if your student received an award at state, you can download the list from the section above "List of students who have Reflections artwork at the state level."  The winning entries are noted with an E, M or HM and are highlighted in yellow.

Reflections Artwork at The Leonardo


The Leonardo Museum in Salt Lake City has invited Utah PTA to display the Reflections artwork that is received at Utah PTA for judging, approximately 800 pieces of work.



SPARK! is the title of the display that The Leonardo will be hosting this summer featuring the Reflections entries from Utah, those that advanced to the state level.   ALL.  Yes!   All of them, every single one of the entries that received an Award of Excellence at the Region and moved forward to the state level for judging has been taken to The Leonardo for display.  I don't know how yet, but all of the Visual Arts, Film, Photography, Dance, Literature, Music Composition and 3D artwork will be displayed in some way.  

In addition to the Reflections artwork there will interactive areas where kids (young and old) can create their own art, guest artists, and a special piece made just for this display.

The display will open on Saturday, April 11th with a Gala even hosted by The Leonardo.  

Admission to this event will be free to all students and their families, teachers and PTA leaders.  The event is scheduled from 10 AM - 1 PM and will feature some of our students performing their art live on stage. 

The Leonardo is preparing an informational flier which will tell us more about exhibit days, times, cost, etc. and will be sent out through the PTA to schools and families as soon as it is ready.  The SPARK! display will run though August 2015.


# # # # # # # # 



3D Art - The 3D art will mostly be displayed in picture form.  We had over 100 3D entries advance to state and museum personnel have chosen to display them in this manner.  They then selected 26 3D pieces to be displayed and those students/parents are being contacted in person to discuss this.  If you did not receive an email or phone call before March 25th regarding your student's 3D piece, then their piece will be displayed via their pictures.  We understand that 3D art is so much more enjoyable in person than in picture and I know the students would rather have their actual artwork displayed so I apreciate your understanding in this area and request that you assist students in understanding this decision.

Film, Dance and Video - I do not know how these entries will all be shown but I believe they will be played on screens in the display area.

Other Artwork - The Leonardo requested additional pieces of artwork to view, to see some of the art that did NOT receive an Award of Excellence at Region. Reflections is a program that is new to the people at the museum and they were curious about the artwork that did not move to the state level. I contacted our region Reflecions leaders and several regions were able to bring about 200 pieces of art (total from all regions) to the state office for the personnel at The Leonardo to view.  I compiled a list of this artwork and then delivered it, along with the winning entries, to the museum.
          I have not heard anything from The Leonardo about this artwork so I do not know, at this time, if any of the extra entries will be displayed. If pieces are selected to be shown at the museum, I will contact those families and let them know  Otherwise, I will be picking up the artwork from the musem and returning it to the region Reflections leaders for distribution back to the students.
          I have attached the list of extra artwork to the bottom of this section. It is made up by arts category and then City/Region. If your student's artwork is on this list, odds are it will be returned to your student through the PTA at the school within the next month or so.

Reflections Theme for 2015-16 is:

Let Your Imagination Fly


Plan now to attend the Utah PTA Leadership Convention on May 14 & 15, 2015 to learn about Reflections and the changes/updates that are being made.  Reflections classes will be held the 1st, 3rd and 5th hours. 

Student Entry, Consent & Arts Category Forms

Rules pages and Entry forms for the 2015-16 school year will be available in May 2015.  Please check back then for updated information and forms.