“Growing Up,” by Sonia Lee, part of MOPA’s youth exhibition. Photo credit: mopa.org

The Museum of Photographic Arts’ 15th Annual Youth Exhibition features the work of dozens of young artists – some as young as 5 years old.

The showcase, for artists up to 18, includes two themes, as MOPA, in Balboa Park, combines elements of the postponed 2020 exhibit – due to the pandemic – with this year’s event.

In “Growing Up,” the artists look at ambitions, identity, metamorphosis, transition and family legacy. In “Space,” they explore the earthly, the ethereal and both inner and outer space.

Organizers say seeking art submissions during the COVID-19 pandemic “provides an additional and poignant insight into the lived experiences of artists during what has been marked as an especially challenging year for school-aged youth.”

The Youth Exhibition program has provided a creative outlet for emerging photographers. since it began in 2006.

Young people throughout San Diego and Tijuana may enter their photos, which are selected by a jury.

“With MOPA’s Youth Exhibition, we want to give young people the opportunity to share their voice,” said Chantal Lane, the museum’s youth and visitor engagement manager. “The show is a way for us to ask for their perspective and for youth to tell the world about what’s valuable to them. They find the confidence to do so with photography.”

The youth exhibit began last month and continues through Feb. 6. The museum is open during spring/summer hours from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

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