Yesterday, my dining room table was filled with a magic rainbow, a beautiful spider with a beautiful web, a summer night, a new friend and pieces of moments. I brought them in my truck to downtown Easton to be judged by the staff at Mercantile Home.
The aforementioned pictures, drawings and a musical composition were just some of the entries by thirteen Shawnee Elementary School students for the National PTA Reflections contest. The artists picked up cameras, markers, colored pencils, crayons, and for the musical composition, sat down at the piano to compose a song around the 2012-13 theme of “The Magic of a Moment.”
The national competition was started in the late 1960’s by Mary Lou Anderson. The National PTA website encourages students to “unleash their artistic talents” by entering the Reflections Program in one of six categories including dance choreography, film production, literature, photography, visual arts and musical composition. The students learned about the program shortly after returning to school and had until mid-October to submit their entries.
The program was judged at the local level the staff of the downtown Easton shop owned by Ken Jones and Ron Morris. The kindergarten-through-fourth-grade students were judged on interpretation of the theme, mastery of medium and artistic merit and creativity. This helped the staff at Mercantile Home award first, second and third place rankings to the entries.
“We had a fun time and it was a group effort.” said Jones, “What helped us in tiebreakers was seeing who took the theme and ran with it.” Jones noted that judging the entries was a “refreshing palette cleanser to be able to make a decision on something we aren’t creating or trying to sell.” The shop is a place where he, Morris and other skilled artisans create and sell handmade items like soy candles, scarves, note cards and jewelry.
After being ranked at the local level the students’ artwork will move on to judging at the council, regional and state level.