Art at Claxton Elementary: Reflections, What’s Your Story?

Each year the North Carolina PTA sponsors an art contest called Reflections. Students from schools all over the state are encouraged to create artwork in categories that include: 2-D design, sculpture, photography, videography, dance choreography, musical composition and literature, based around a theme that changes yearly. Themes from the past have offered topics such as “Diversity Means…”, “Believe, Dream, Inspire”, “Let Your Imagination Fly” and more. This year the theme was “What’s Your Story?”.

Many Claxton Elementary students from all grade levels embraced this theme and created some really amazing artwork for this year’s competition. Volunteers with the Claxton Art Committee really enjoyed guiding some of these students during two workshops, which gave the kids an opportunity to work on their projects right after school, using a variety of mediums, and also to offer tips and suggestions for their pieces. We found that most of the students had no trouble coming up with ideas and getting them on paper. It was wonderful to see how expressive and eager all of the students were in their efforts. The end results that were turned in to be judged were brilliant, with ideas ranging from a long awaited trip to Disneyland, life being compared to a roller coaster and an elevator ride, or celebrating a family cruise. Many students shared visions of their future, or expressed in picture some of their favorite hobbies and interests. It was great to see several of the students break away from two dimensional work and branch out to create some really effective 3-D pieces as well. Some of the students used photography to express themselves, and used imaginative ways to display the photos.

With any competition, in my personal opinion, there should also be a celebration. The students who participated in Reflections enjoyed a small ceremony in the school cafeteria, with donuts and awards, presented by the school principle, Dr. Anessa Burgman and Corrie Lisk-Hurst, head of the Arts Committee. Each student received a certificate for participating, and celebrating the art they created, while the top ten students chosen to move forward for judging at the District Level received additional awards. I am excited to share that three students, Sophia Robertson, Jay Valk, and Brandon Henry, also moved on to represent Claxton at the State level!

After the awards and donuts, students all went to the Media Center to see everyone’s work on display, and to read encouraging comments by the local judges. The students were so excited to share and see each other’s work. As an artist, it was inspiring to see the creativity bubbling in these kids, and to hope that this event would encourage that creativity to grow, and inspire these young artists to keep making!

Claxton Elementary is located in Greensboro, NC and will be participating in Reflections again in 2018. If your school hasn’t participated in this program, go to for details.

Claxton parents with artsy kids: The Arts Committee has organized an after school art club that will be starting after school this March (2017). Dates TBA .


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