top of page

Alston Ridge Middle School

What is Reflections?

Reflections is a nationwide art contest that encourages you to explore your own thoughts, feelings and ideas through artistic expression based on a specific theme. Over 300,000 students from Kindergarten thru high school participate from all over the United States. We will hold a blind judging of our school's entries (it will be virtual this year), and the top 28 entries from PSES will advance to Wake County for judging. The county then holds judging of all those winners, who then advance to North Carolina state judging, and from there the winners go on to the national competition.

Gabriel Irving, NCPTA’s 2019-20 National Interpretation Award Winner shares his experiences and encourages participation in the Reflections Program.
Call For Entries: I Matter Because

This years theme is

A message from the National PTA president about this year's theme.


Enter as many pieces in as many categories as you want! Click each category below to view the rules specific to each one. Be sure you read the rules for any category you want to enter before you create your piece and follow all the rules to avoid disqualification.


Architectural drawing and models, ceramics, collage, computer generated images and graphics, crafts, drawing, fashion clothes and jewelry, fiber work, mixed media, painting, printmaking and sculpture.


Animation, narrative, documentary, experimental or media presentation. Entrant must be the screenwriter, cinematographer, editor and producer.


Prose, poetry, reflective essay, screen play and play script, narrative, or short story. Not to exceed 2,000 words.


Photo must be a single print/digital image. Collages and collections of photos are not accepted (though could be submitted as Visual Art). Entrant must be the photographer and may use a variety of digital editing techniques.


Solo and ensemble works of all dance styles are accepted. Entrant must be the choreographer and may also be the performer, or one of the performers. Entry must be the original work of one student only.


All music styles and combinations of instrumentation are accepted. Entrant must be the composer and may also be the performer, or one of the performers.

Students who identify as having a disability and may receive services under IDEA or ADA: Section 504 may enter in the Special Artist Division.

The Special Artist Division welcomes students from all grades and abilities and offers non-artistic accommodations (e.g. adaptive technology; transcribing; holding a camera) for students to participate fully in PTA Reflections. Assistants must refrain from being involved in the artistic process (e.g. developing an artist statement, choreography, music lyrics, storyboards, etc.) Student recognition and awards are announced as part of the Special Artist Division.


Students who identify as having a disability and may receive services under IDEA or ADA: Section 504 may enter in the Special Artist Division.

All entries are due by November 12th. Once all entries are submitted, a virtual blind judging will be held. Each piece will be scored based on creativity, technique and interpretation of the theme. Your Artist Statement will play a big part in how the judge determines your understanding and interpretation of the theme, I Matter Because.


Help Getting Started...


Use this brainstorming worksheet to help you discover all the ways you matter to help narrow your ideas.

Check out these at-home Reflections inspired activities to help encourage families to create together!

Get Inspired

Wondering what a winning entry looks like? Check out the 2019-20 North Carolina Reflections gallery of winners for the theme Look Within.

Watch this video below of the amazing and inspiring National winners.

How To Enter

All entries are due by November 12, 2020.

Please read and follow the rules for your category above, as well as the Official Rules, before you create your piece so you are sure to work within the guidelines.

All entries will be digital this year. For Film, Music, and Dance you will be uploading your digital recording (check the category rules for size limits, type, etc). For Literature, you will upload a PDF of your piece (please convert or scan the piece; do not photograph it). For Photography you will upload your final, edited digital photograph.

For Visual Arts, you will need to take a good photograph of it. Parents may help with this. You want the photograph to capture all necessary detail and represent your work well. It's best to take the picture outside on a nice day for best lighting. For 2D pieces, you will only submit one photo. For 3D pieces, you will submit 3 photos from different angles.

Please follow the proper file naming directions before uploading and rename your entries as needed. This helps us pair which art piece belongs to which student and will help keep us organized. It is basically Category-Division-LastName-FirstName so if Jane Smith in 6th grade paints a picture (Visual Arts), the file she uploads would be named VA-MID-SMITH-JANE. Grades 6-8 are Middle (MID) Division. Category abbreviations are DANCE, FILM, LIT, MUSIC, PHOTO, VA AND SA. Note the specific directions if you are entering more than one piece per category or for 3D Visual Arts where you have to send 3 photos. View the file naming guidelines here.

Each student will need to write an Artist Statement, 10 to 100 words about their piece and how it relates to the theme, I Matter Because. Remember, interpretation of the theme is worth 40% of your score by the judges, so be sure to put a lot of thought into your Artist Statement.

Have your digital files ready, as well as your completed Artist Statement before completing the form below and read and follow the three submission steps. A signature of a parent/guardian is required. You will only be able to upload one file per submission. For 3D Visual Arts submissions, please email all 3 pictures required to

You will need to fill out a separate submission form for each entry.

Each entry must be the original work of one student only. An adult may not alter the creative integrity of a student’s work. Because the program is designed to encourage and recognize each student’s individual creativity, help from an adult or collaboration with other students is not allowed except in the Special Artist Division. Other individuals may appear in or perform a student’s work, but the work itself must be the creative product of one student only. Only one student may be recognized as the award recipient for each entry. See the specific arts category rules and special artist division rules above for details.

For any questions or issues, contact ARMS Reflections at

Please CLICK HERE to fill out the form and upload your entries. You will be asked to log in and verify google account setting.

Have a great idea for the next Reflections theme? You could win $100 prize if your theme is selected! Enter your ideas directly to the NC PTA by October 31, 2020. They will choose the top five submitted ideas to the National PTA for consideration. Students may submit up to 5 entries.

  • White Facebook Icon
  • X
  • White Instagram Icon
bottom of page