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School art dedication launches PTA ‘Reflections Arts’ program

CARLSBAD — Students cheered appreciatively at a recent assembly at Poinsettia Elementary School where art teachers Tara Clark and Heather Gertzki presented the school their own art piece, a surfboard that was hand-painted by the pair.
At the assembly, Clark and Gertzki explained the step-by-step process of creating the work of art. The old surfboard was painted using a Polynesian collage style that incorporates mixed media of gold leaf paint, block print and painting using figurative, scenic and abstract concepts. Clark and Gertzki conceptualized and spent the summer painting the designs on the piece based on the school’s panther mascot, the poinsettia flower, the school’s location, and their own artistic interests. Local artist Wade Kiniakowski inspired the piece. Kiniakowski’s surfboard art was recently selected by Billabong, Inc. to adorn their store walls across the country.
The dedication came as the school launched it’s second annual “Reflections” program, a nationwide PTA-sponsored contest where students submit artistic entries in six categories: film production, dance choreography, musical composition, photography, visual arts, and literature. Entries, which must reflect this year’s “Wow!” theme are judged on the local level and move on to regional and national levels if selected.
“We are so thrilled about this dedication and hope it inspires some great creativity for the Reflections program this year,” Melinda Della Penna, co-chairperson for the program at Poinsettia Elementary, said. “This is really what it’s all about: encouraging students to broaden their artistic talents so that they can in turn share it with others.”
Poinsettia Elementary, at 2445 Mica Road at Poinsettia Lane, is Carlsbad Unified School District’s newest school, now in its second year, with 514 students enrolled. Information on the Reflections program can be found at