2016 – 2017

How do I get more students to participate? 

It is always a challenge to get students engaged in Reflections.  Every year the number of students that participate change.  Personally, I think it depends on the theme.  The hardest theme for students to interpret was “Diversity Means…”  I had the fewest number of entries this year.  Here are some ideas you might like to try:

  • Talk to your art teachers.  One year we had them let students use free time at the end of class to create their visual arts entry.
  • Reward your students.  Last year we did a drawing for a gift card from Amazon.  It was for all that entered.
  • One year we did a doughnut party to the class that had the most entries.
  • One year we gave $50 in supplies to the teacher that had the most entries.  This encourages the teachers to promote the program.

If I only have one medium to choose from to do marketing, which one should I choose?

I would definitely go with morning announcements.  In my experience, this is what the students in elementary school respond to.

How do I celebrate?

Each year at my elementary school, we have a Reflections Breakfast.  We celebrate all the entrants and have the principal hand out certificates and ribbons.  It is done before school begins in the morning and in the Winter.  We also have a gallery set up for all the parents to come and see.

How do I recruit judges?

Consider swapping schools.  I had Mr. Mazzatta judge our Visual Arts entries one year.  He is in the Parkview Cluster and teaches at Camp Creek.  Last year I had Ms. Erickson from Five Forks Middle School judge.  I have a friend who is an artist who works at the High Museum.  One year I asked him to judge. Literature entries, I swapped schools again and asked a teacher at Pharr ES to judge.  Always ensure that the entries are blind when judging.  More on this later.

I only have one entry in one category for a particular grade.  Does this entry automatically move on?

No.  Let your judges be the judge.  You can still recognize the artists work, but it does not have to move on to the council level.

How many judges do I need?

Typically, at the local level, you need at least two.  Use your judgement, if both of your judges do not agree on a first and second place, then get a third judge.

I have all the entries, how do I get the judges to judge them?

I dropped them off at the school and picked them up when they were done.  Literature entries I made copies and gave it to them to rank at their leisure.  Turnaround time is about three days.

How do I know what entries will be disqualified?

Use your judgement.  On Visual Arts entries, if you have seen this project done in school as part of the curriculum, it is not eligible.  I have had this happen, it was signed and dated one year prior.  You can have it in the exhibition, but don’t judge it.  I get a lot of entries of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Hello Kitty.  Unfortunately, these are ineligible as well.  This is copying someones original idea.  At the Elementary School level, you are more than likely going to have just a few FV entries.  If this is the case, make sure that you preview the DVD before submitting to the next round to ensure that it is eligible.  Also if you happen to have a wonderful VA entry that you are skeptical about, take a picture of it and email the art teacher.  Ask him/her if this particular student is capable.

So is it Visual Arts or Photography?

You may get some entries that will be entered in the wrong category.  Most notably, parents or students will enter in the Photography category, when in actuality it is really a Visual Arts entry.  For it to be a Photography entry, it has to be on ONE continuous piece of paper with NO writing on it and no larger than 11 X 14.  That means, no pasting of several photographs on a piece of cardboard.  One photograph with writing on the MAT is considered Visual Arts.  Please, if you have any doubt on what category to put this in, please contact me.  If you submit a photography entry that really should be a Visual Arts entry, then I will have to disqualify it.  There is no way that I can swap it to another category once it gets to me because that would be unfair to the other artist. These are examples of Visual Arts entries:

madelyn Photography dq1

I’m so overwhelmed by all of the Rules and Deadlines, help!

In a perfect world, you should have a co-chair.  I know how hard it is to get one.  This program is really time consuming for about two months.  If you have two people, great.  I recommend one organize the marketing aspect and the other the judging.  After judging is over, both can go over entries and package them accordingly.  If you are the sole person, it can be done.  You may want to consider only accepting entries in one category, for example only Visual Arts.

Also, I am here to help.  Please email, call, or text.