black and white image of crowd with protest signs

The Getty Museum and nonprofit design lab, Amplifier, have partnered to host an open call for art for students ages 13-19 around the theme of “In Pursuit of__”.

Teens are invited to answer the question “What are you in pursuit of?” They can participate in a free, short photography course, and then submit their own impactful artwork using photos and text.

Members of the public can register to see the artworks and vote on their favorites, and the top ten will be included in an Amplifier projection series in cities nationwide and distributed via the Getty Museum’s social media and education, digital, and exhibition platforms.

The theme, “In Pursuit of ______”, is this year’s focus for Getty’s Unshuttered, a photography program, online community, and app for teens to share their passion for photography and social justice advocacy. “In Pursuit of ______” is inspired by the phrase “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” from the Declaration of Independence, and expands on these fundamental concepts.

The prompt is an invitation to consider, inspire, and share social justice issues that matter to teens. It listens and suggests action. It encourages teens to reflect on their own lives, consider the state of the world, and inspire others through their unique artistic expressions

Amplifier has built a network of over a million students and has created a 30-minute video lesson plan on how to produce powerful, relevant artworks that combine photographic imagery and text to convey a message, in the style of iconic artists like Barbara Kruger and Hank Willis Thomas, as well as many others in the Amplifier portfolio of artists.

Founder of Amplifier Aaron Huey, a National Geographic photographer, media designer, and a Stanford d.School Global Ambassador said, “In our work at Amplifier, we’ve learned a lot about storytelling and symbols, about how to distill a message into something—sometimes using as little as 3 words like We the People—that can reach hundreds of millions of people to help drive conversations and lead to real change.”

Other Amplifier projects include the 2017 Shephard Fairey campaign, We The People, which ignited a national dialogue about American identity and values through public art and story sharing. These images have flooded America and the globe with new symbols of hope to combat the rising power of nationalism, bigotry, and intolerance.

“With so much around us feeling out of control, there has never been a more important time for young people to talk about what they believe in,” said Huey. “Teaching storytelling is one way that can help students feel empowered to start these important conversations.”

This is not your average photojournalism class. This workshop teaches students how to make compelling visual artworks requiring nothing more than a cell phone with a camera. Teens already part of the Unshuttered community are invited to engage in the workshop and submit imagery to the open call.

Teens can find the instructional video, accompanying lesson plans, and submit their artworks to the open call at Users must register for an account prior to submitting and must include a brief, 100-word written artist’s statement about their work(s).

Members of the public can also vote for their favorite artworks on the open call page. Submit away, and tag @gettyunshuttered and @Amplifierart

To learn more about the contest visit

Unshuttered is generously supported by the Genesis Inspiration Foundation.