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.

Call For Entries

YX20 is now open for submissions!
Theme: “Growing Up”

  • MOPA encourages you to be creative with your interpretation of the theme!
  • What does it mean to “Grow up?”  What might you photograph to show your thoughts and ideas?
  • Visit our submission site for more information, tips, FAQs, and submission requirements.

Submission deadline: May 6, 2020 at midnight


On exhibit now:

Dreamscapes: 14th Annual Juried Youth Exhibition

Image of Crescendo by Rayann Valenzuela
Rayann Valenzuela, 2019

September 28, 2019 – March 1, 2020

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.

This year’s exhibition was juried by:

  • Tom Chambers, photographic artist
  • Suda House, MOPA Board, photographic artist and professor of photography
  • Amanda Dahlgren, photographic artist and professor of photography
  • Nan Renner, Ph.D., cognitive scientist
  • Nicole Amaya, visual artist and educator at The San Diego Museum of Art
  • Joaquin Ortiz, Director of Innovation at MOPA





2020 Theme: “Growing Up”
Submissions will open in January of 2020
Stay tuned for further information!




Explore Previous Youth Exhibitions


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.