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Holladay Journal

City Hall displays 22 students’ art pieces from Reflections program

Nov 07, 2023 11:38AM ● By Collette Hayes

“My art piece is a photo of the saddle of Little and Big Cottonwood canyons,” David said. “The rocks can indicate trials in our lives, but the sky and sun can convey to us great things are yet to come.” (Photo credit Brenda Finlinson)

The Holladay Arts Council has selected 22 Bonneville Jr. High School Reflections contest participants to receive the honor of Holladay Artist of the Month for November and December. Inspired by a student pre-selected theme, “I am hopeful because,” the students created original works of art in the categories of film production, literature, music composition, photography, dance choreography and visual arts. 

The PTA Reflections program has been providing the opportunity for decades to students across the nation to express themselves creatively. According to the National PTA website, each year, over 300,000 students in pre-K through grade 12 challenge their critical thinking skills as well as explore their creative talents in a specific category of art to interpret a specific theme. 

Students are invited to submit ideas for the Reflections theme. Alice Meko of Hampton Cove Elementary School in Alabama submitted the winning theme “I am hopeful because” for the 2023-24 school year. 

Bonneville Jr. High PTA president Michelle Call finds this year’s Reflection theme inspirational and acknowledges the importance of its capability in boosting students’ self-confidence and success in the arts and in life. 

“Bonneville hasn’t participated in the Reflections program for a very long time,” Call said. “This is our first year bringing it back. All students participated on a voluntary basis with many of the teachers at Bonneville encouraging participation. This year, the program offered the students an opportunity to reflect on the importance of the theme, ‘I am hopeful because.’ The students have created inspirational pieces of art around this theme in all art categories offered.”

Two of Call’s daughters, sixth-grade student Estelle and eighth-grade student Mia participated in the Reflections program this year submitting entries in several different categories. Both girls have been studying dance since the age of 3. 

“I entered in four different categories this year,” Estelle said. “I composed a music composition titled ‘There is hope’ on the ukelele. I did a two-dimensional drawing of myself and several of my friends holding hands because friendship gives me hope. I entered photos I took at our cabin in Heber of the changing seasons. The seasons give me hope there will always be change. Also, I submitted a video of a dance I choreographed to the song ‘Sunshine on My Shoulders.’ I love dance and my hope is to someday study dance in college.”  

Mia Call studies several dance genres at Silhouette Dance Studio. Drawing on years of dance experience, she found inspiration in the song “Let it Be” for choreographing an original dance which conveys the message of hope through movement.  

“The song, ‘Let it Be,’ gives me hope,” Mia said. “You don’t have to be able to fix everything immediately or on your own. Eventually all things will get better. Also, dance gives me hope because it keeps my body mentally and physically fit.”

Eighth-grade student Malia Osborne completed a colored pencil sketch of her cat Finn for her entry. She excels at drawing and also oil painting. She contemplated what to enter for two months before making a decision. She had many two-dimensional artistic pieces she could select from and finally decided to sketch her cat Finn due to his inspirational story of hope. 

“I decided to draw my gray, striped cat Finn with colored pencils,” Malia said. “We rescued him about a year ago from the shelter giving Finn hope for a better life.”

Sawyer Larsen, also an eighth-grade student at Bonneville, studies hip hop, tap, jazz, ballet and contemporary dance. She choreographed a dance for the Reflections contest.

“I study dance at Junction Dance Studio,” Sawyer said. “I choreographed a dance to the song, ‘I’m only Human.’ When I get frustrated or make mistakes, I tend to get really mad. The song and the dance I choreographed give me hope as reminders everyone makes mistakes and I can only do so much.”

Eighth grader David Finlinson entered the Reflections photography category and titled his photo “The Horizon of Hope.”

“My art piece is a photo of the saddle of Little and Big Cottonwood canyons,” David said. “The rocks can indicate trials in our lives, but the sky and sun can convey to us great things are yet to come. Also, those rocks might be tough to get through, but with each step you can see your progress, and then when you see the sky, you know the winds are changing.”

Bonneville Jr. High students’ Reflections artwork will be on display at Holladay City Hall through the month of November. The art will then move on to the state Reflections competition to be judged. Winners from the state competition will be judged at the national level. 

 If you would like to nominate a Holladay resident for Artist of the Month visitλ