Despite pandemic, SMSD students still able to show off creativity in annual arts program

A number of Shawnee Mission students received awards for their artwork through the Shawnee Mission Area Council Parent Teacher Association art program, including Trailwood Elementary student Nixon Katzenmeier. Above, "Nixon's Future is Bright." Photo courtesy of Lori Stanziola. 

Although COVID-19 brought on a slew of issues for annual events, the Shawnee Mission Area Council Parent Teacher Association experienced “a nice turnout” for this year’s Shawnee Mission Reflections program, said chair and webmaster Lori Stanziola.

The nationally acclaimed student recognition program occurs annually and intends to encourage artistic creativity inside the classroom and at home, according to SMAC PTA’s website.

Students of all grade levels can participate in the program and explore one of several categories for a given year’s theme, including visual arts, photography, music composition, literature, dance choreography and film production.

The 2020-2021 theme is “I Matter Because…”

This year, SMAC PTA was able to host an online, virtual event to announce the program’s 2020-2021 winners on Dec. 8. A full list of winners can be found online here, but below are some winning pieces of artwork from this year’s program.

Ava Carroll, Indian Hills Middle School — Middle School Photography Award of Excellence

Titled “Under the Surface,” Ava Carroll took this photo of her sister, Carmen, because it showed “the goodness and beauty in others,” according to the SMAC PTA results. Photo courtesy of Lori Stanziola.

Destyni Meadows, Shawnee Mission Northwest — High School Visual Arts Award of Excellence

Titled “Unmask Your Truth,” Destyni Meadows’ visual arts piece represents that she is a strong woman who is proud to be biracial, according to SMAC PTA results. A full version of this piece can be found online. Photo courtesy of Lori Stanziola.

Patrick Zueckert, Highlands Elementary School — Intermediate Film Production Award of Excellence

Above is a still shot from Patrick Zueckert’s film entitled “I Matter because I Create.” The LEGO figure in the film is named ‘Bob’ and he rides with an imaginary creature, according to SMAC PTA results. Photo courtesy of Lori Stanziola.