Reflections: Governor's Art School

Program Director:
Aaron Eichorst

Mailing Address:
Aaron Eichorst
Charlottesville City Schools
Division Administration Annex
1400 Melbourne Rd.
Charlottesville, VA 22901

Reflections is a Summer Regional Governor's School Program, funded in part by the Virginia Department of Education with local financial and in-kind support. The Reflections Program is a 10-day summer program for middle school students gifted in the visual arts, competitively selected from Charlottesville City, Albemarle, Greene, and Nelson Counties, and the Private and Home-School students in the region. Reflections provides conceptual and visual art experiences for artistically gifted students in association with their gifted peers.


Students gifted in the visual arts are aesthetically inquisitive and highly self-motivated in art production, eager to create art and perceptive in viewing the art of others. Students gifted in the visual arts need the stimulation of their artistically gifted peers; need to be confronted with challenging ideas, issues, and problems; and need to be exposed to increasingly complex non-verbal symbols and relationships in works of art. The Reflections Program intellectually challenges each student at an appropriate level, elicits curiosity, and sponsors creativity and uniqueness of response in art production.


The goals of Reflections are:

  1. To promote student investigation of drawing as the intellectual and expressive foundation for most visual arts.
  2. To promote student investigation of art as a history of ideas about human social and emotional concerns.
  3. To expand student awareness of art history and the relevance of art history and culture to one's life, to viewing art, and to art production.
  4. To cooperatively select and present an exhibition of student artwork produced in the Reflections Program.

Children Served

Forty sixth, seventh and eight grade students from Charlottesville City, Albemarle, Greene and Nelson Counties and the Private and Home-School students from the region.

Services Offered

Reflections is a ten day summer program of visual art experiences, art production, and critical viewing of artworks. Reflections meets daily for five hours on June 15-19 and June 22-26, 2015. Reflections serves forty selected middle school students from the region who are gifted in the visual arts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q - How can I get information about Governor's School?
A - Contact the art or gifted teacher at your school.  Download the application form online.
Q - Who can answer more specific questions for me?
A - Please email the program director, Aaron Eichorst at or call (434) 245-2671.
Q - How much does the program cost?
A - Reflections Governor's school is funded by the Virginia Department of Education and supported by Charlottesville City Schools. Tuition of $100 per accepted student is paid by each participating school division. Private and Home School students from the region pay $100 each.
Q - What are the dates of the 2014 Governor's School? How long is the day?
A - Governor's school meets from June 15 - 19 and June 22 - 26, 2014 from 8:30-1:00.
   A typical day at The Governor's School:
  • 8:30 - 9:15: Independent work time
  • 9:15 - 9:35: Sketchbook Groups
  • 9:35 - 11:05: Class One
  • 11:05 - 11:25: Snack/Break
  • 11:25 - 12:55: Class Two


Reflections is the only regional visual arts Governor's school for middle school students in Virginia. 2015 will be our 25th year of operation. We have had tremendous success and enthusiasm for this program from both students and the community. Acceptance to Reflections is highly competitive within each district.


Forty students are accepted into Reflections each year. They are selected from rising 7th, 8th, and 9th graders.

Orientation - May 27, 2015, 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. in the CHS Art rooms
School Days:  June 15-19 and June 22-26, 2015

Instructions for Student Applications:

It is essential in a regional governor's school for gifted and talented students that the student application procedures be standardized in all the participating school divisions. Following is the application procedure for all students:

  1. The student will complete the Student Application Form.
  2. The student will procure a teacher recommendation using the provided Teacher Recommendation Form.
  3. Artwork: The student will independently make one piece of art using the provided photocopy of geometric lines and shapes. This artwork may be created using any materials or techniques. Originality and creativity are emphasized. The applicant should work independently on creating this artwork, without assistant from parent or art teacher.
  4. Artwork: The student will submit two of the following three choices:
    1. a landscape
    2. a portrait of a person or a self-portrait (not a cartoon)
    3. a still life
      One of these artworks must be done in pencil; one must utilize color. Students may submit artwork done previously in class or at home.
  5. Artwork: The student will submit one additional piece or two- or three- dimensional art of his/her choice. (This may also be previously completed artwork.)

Please note: These requirements total four separate examples of the applicant's art.

Student Application Deadline: March 9, 2015

Student Selection Committees

Judging Artwork:

In assessing these application materials for acceptance to Reflections (Central Virginia Summer Regional Governor's School for Middle School Students Gifted in the Visual Arts), each school division committee should judge the artwork according to the characteristics of a student who is gifted in the visual arts:

  1. Students gifted in the visual arts possess superior ability in art and are dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in art.
  2. "Gifted" in the visual arts includes "talented". A talented student may or may not demonstrate the scholarship level of the academically gifted child.<
  3. Students gifted in the visual arts demonstrate many of these characteristics:
    • originality or ideas and approach
    • ability to organize ideas visually
    • sensitivity in the use of line
    • sensitivity, subtlety, and knowledge in the use of color
    • sensitivity in design
    • ability to draw from memory
    • ability to express ideas or feelings visually
    • motivation to excel in art
    • variety in the subject and content of art
    • adaptability in working on the art product (willingness to make improvements or fix mistakes)
    • perceptual sensitivity and ability
    • ability to concentrate for long periods of time
    • flexibility in using ideas as stimulus
    • desire for mastery of materials and techniques

It is the task of the selection committees to evaluate the students first on their artistic giftedness, but it is also essential that there be fair minority and gender representation in the Governor's School. The selection committees will use the "Rating Scale" to assess the artworks. The application statements by the students and the comments from the teacher recommendations will be considered in student selection decisions as well as consideration for racial, cultural, or gender diversity.

Sending in applications:

Student Application Deadline:  March 9, 2015
Student applications from Charlottesville City and Albemarle, Greene, and Nelson Counties submit thier application materials to their respective school divisions, generally through the middle school art teacher.  Home and private school students submit their application materials directly to the Reflection Program Director for a separate Home/Private school adjudication.

Each School divison must choose two or three alternates in case someone cannot attend at the last minute or in case all slots are not filled from other school divisions.

Each School division will send a  list of selected students and two alternates, a photocopy of each selected student's application form, and Geometric page to the Program Director by March 19, 2015. (Students will receive their artwork back during the summer program.)

Aaron Eichorst, Reflections Administrator
Charlottesville City Schools Division Annex
1400 Melbourne Road
Charlottesville, VA 22901

The original application forms plus all other application materials and artworks will remain in the respective school divisions.

The Program Director will officially notify all students accepted for Reflections 2015 and all alternates by March 27, 2015.

By March 27, 2015 each School division will advise all non-accepted applicants in school division that they were not chosen by the Selection Committee for the Reflections program.