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2017 PTA Reflections

PTA Reflections is a school, state, and national art contest which has been bringing the arts to life for more than 10 million students since 1969.

The Carthay PTA is proud to host this program in 2017 in advance of opening its own student art gallery at the school.

Please read below for information about the program.  For questions, contact Carthay PTA Arts Chair Caterina Mercante.  

Entry forms can be picked up from the display on the PTA table in the main hallway, or downloaded here:



“Within Reach”

That’s the theme for the 2017-2018 Reflections Art Program, and California State PTA and its members, families and kids are on the forefront of this amazing program, which increases community awareness of the importance of arts in education.

Reflections encourages students of all ages to:

  • Unleash creative talents and be inspired
  • Express themselves imaginatively in their artwork
  • Experience the fun and joy of making art
  • Tap into critical-thinking skills to create art inspired by the annual theme
  • Receive positive recognition for their original works of art.

All students attending PTA schools sponsoring the program are invited to participate and submit original artwork in one of six areas:

  • Dance/choreography
  • Literature
  • Photography
  • Film production
  • Music composition
  • Visual arts.

Artworks are submitted first to school-level PTAs, where they are first recognized, celebrated and judged by five grade-level divisions, while a non-judged Special Artists division celebrates student artists with special needs. School PTAs then choose a selection of entries to be judged by local PTA units, which are then sent on to councils and then districts for consideration. The final artworks submitted to California State PTA by districts are then considered for Awards of Excellence or Awards of Merit. Award of Excellence entries then go on to represent California in the final National PTA judging round.

The official rules are available here in English and Spanish.

General Reflections Info:


Theme search '18-'19

Geneal information


Submit a theme

This form must be filled out by October 27th.



Adventures in Art!

In the Fall 2015 semester, art classes were taught by an art specialist from LAUSD. Teachers also learned new grade-appropriate art lessons. 


In the 2014-2015 school year, students in grades K-2 had art classes in Fall with an art teacher from Aimee Art Productions, and in Spring with an art teacher from STAR Education


Carthay's Art Education program was sponsored in 2014-2015 by the Cunningham Group Real Estate Team


Ms. Emily's reports from Adventures in Art!

Week 1: 2-dimensional Self Portraits

I introduced india ink and the self portrait yesterday.  We looked at Matisse’s work and we had a group discussion about all the different shapes that  Matisse uses in his portrait drawing and paintings.  We also discussed different line qualities with markers and india ink.
The “artists” all made fantastic one of a kind self portraits with india ink, india ink brushes, black markers on large white paper.  They are all truly one of a kind, a real self expression of each student.
Weeks 2 and 3: 3-dimensional Self Portraits
We had a wonderful imaginative, creative and enthusiastic day today in "adventures in art’’.  The “artists” were all so excited to be back in our art workshop today!  They all said, “I LOVE  ART”!   
Today we talked about sculptures and 3 dimensional art and compared it to our two dimensional india ink self portraits from our last weeks art workshop.   We began working on our 3 Dimensional Self Portraits aka "Paint Stick Puppets.”  The “artist",  teachers and volunteers loved all the "out of box" recycled material that I brought in for the first week of this  project.  Next week, we will continue  working on our recycled self portrait puppets.  The “artist” seemed very inspired to bring in more recycled material from their homes to continue on the recycled self portrait adventure for next week.   I encouraged the teachers to remind the “artist” throughout the week and next week to bring in sticks, leaves and anything else they may find that they could add to their self portraits 
In Week 3 we used paint sticks to complete the "paint stick puppet self portraits" with paper plates. We created our 3-dimensional self portraits out of so many fun recycled materials! Each self port rate was so different than the others! And we also learned so many textures from recycled materials. We learned about Vincent Van Gogh and all the texture of paint that he used in his self portraits. 

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Art Classes at LACMA

In the spring of 2015, 50 students in grades 3-5 participated in the LACMA After School at the Museum art classes. These classes are offered to schools on a rotating basis - we hope to make this opportunity available to Carthay students again soon. 

After School at the Museum is an eight-week program that brings students to the museum one afternoon per week. Students go to the museum Friday afternoons for eight weeks, as museum instructors facilitate observing art, lead gallery activities, and guide art workshops. Sessions are designed sequentially to build on acquired concepts and skills. Transportation to and from the museum is provided. Classes are free, thanks to the support from a number of donors

Ms. Emily's Reports from Adventures in Art!!

Weeks 4 and 5:  2-dimensional collage trees

We looked and talked about all the different types of trees in nature. We learned how each tree is different from any other tree. The artist learned organic shapes of trees, leaves and branches. In addition we discussed the variety of textures in nature and in art.

The artists created landscapes collages and used a variety of mix media from recycled  oversized wall paper for the canvas, recycled wall paper patterns to create textures, black sharpie markers for  outlining, recycled string and glue.   The second week of this project, the artist brought in actual leaves and sticks and branches that they found for their projects.  We clued these on to our 2 - dimentional landscape pieces.  The artist learned how to rip the recycled texture  paper for the tree trunks and the branches to create organic shapes.  It was exciting lesson on learning how to create without scissors! 

We explored the trees on the Carthay School campus and  created our very own original trees  inspired by nature using patterns, line, color, shape/form and texture from nature.

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Week 6: Organic Shapes

This week our Carthay Elementary Artist explored "organic shapes” and the "endless line qualities" in drawings.  We talked about the endless “organic shapes" in animals.  The Carthay Artist painted with India Ink and India Ink brushes their favorite animal.  

We discussed a variety of ways to make lines with their brushes!  We learned that they can make over 100 different line qualities with a simple brush and ink!111   We explored Lucy Cousins illustrations book of “Jazzy in the Jungle”, “Almost Everything book by Joelle Jolivet, We then read to the Carthay Artist the book “Lines that Wiggle.”  The artist also learned about the wonderful line drawing from Pablo Picasso from a book of Picasso’s simple animal line drawings!

We cannot wait for our India Ink creations to dry over Thanksgiving vacation!  When we get back after Thanksgiving break,  we will learn all about color and texture and we will explore color and texture in these India Ink Creations for the second part of our project.

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