Youth Exhibition

Annual Juried Youth Exhibition

Since 2006, MOPA has held an annual juried exhibition showcasing the photographic talents of local youth. Every year, students are encouraged to submit work that responds visually to a particular theme. The winning entries are selected for their creativity and artistic interpretation of that year’s topic.

Important updates during closure

While MOPA is temporarily closed, we are busy at work to keep our Youth Exhibition program going!  Please check back here for updates! If you would like to join our Youth Exhibition mailing list, please email us at yx@mopa.org.

Coming soon –  YX21: SPACE
This year’s Youth Exhibition theme is SPACE!  We will be opening for submissions early this year on November 5th, so look for an announcement coming soon!  We are currently developing resources to help inspire you via our website. Check back often! If you want to be among the first to know, join our mailing list by emailing us at yx@mopa.org!

Updates for YX20: Growing Up
Thank you for submitting!  Our submission window has closed and artists have been notified via email of their submission status.  This exhibition remains on hold while the Museum is closed.  Once an exhibition date has been set, we will post it here and notify you via email!  We are currently looking at an early summer 2021 opening.

Updates for YX19: Dreamscapes
Thank you again to all of our participating artists from Dreamscapes!  The shutdown happened just as we were beginning the process of returning artwork to our exhibited artists.  If you were unable to pick up your artwork before we closed, please know that we are keeping it safe!  As soon as we reopen, we will notify you via email with instructions and dates to pick up your work. If you have any questions, please email us at yx@mopa.org.






Explore Previous Youth Exhibitions

Image of Crescendo by Rayann Valenzuela
Rayann Valenzuela, 2019

2019: Dreamscapes

An exploration of the subconscious and the ways in which we perceive dreams. The featured photographs highlight individual and collective hopes, fears, and future inspirations


Madysen Adler, 2017

2018 Reverberate: Sound and Image
The student artworks explore a range of ways that we engage with and relate to sound.  For some, music and language evoke memories and connections to family and culture. For others, the sounds of the city and the voices of others are overwhelming and chaotic.  Some may not hear sounds at all, but feel and see them through vibration and resonance.

2017  Defining Boundaries
Youth artists explored a range of topics including physical boundaries, emotional boundaries, and societal boundaries in MOPA’s 12th Annual Youth Exhibition. Some artworks show boundaries as positive and protective, while others show them as limiting and binding.

Mark Cahill, 2016

2016  Animals Among Us
Inspired by the San Diego Zoo’s 100th anniversary, MOPA’s 11th Annual Youth Exhibition asked students in San Diego County and Tijuana to respond to the theme of animals through photography or video.


Silvia Shalom, 2015

2015 Self/Reflection
MOPA’s 10th Annual Youth Exhibition asked students to explore their identity in a photograph. This exhibition was open to students throughout San Diego County and Tijuana.


Gabriel Wilson, 2014

2014 We Are Family
MOPA’s 9th Annual Youth Exhibition asked young people to use lens based media to explore what “family” means to them.

2013 My City, Your City
MOPA’s 8th Annual Youth Exhibition encouraged students to use photography or video to explore the meaning of home and community.

2012 Photosynthesis
MOPA’s 7th Annual Youth Exhibition asked students to communicate important ideas about the environment and sustainability.

2011  See/Saw
MOPA’s 6th Annual Youth Exhibition represented the most creative and original works of art produced by students who participated in a MOPA education program.

2010 Reflections
MOPA’s 5th Annual Youth Exhibition asked students to explore their culture and cultural identity through photography and film. This exhibition was open to students throughout San Diego County.

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