Young Art 2023: Comfort and Calm

On View March 25–May 15, 2023

The San Diego Museum of Art’s biennial youth exhibition Young Art has the extraordinary distinction of being the longest running program in the history of the Museum. Young Art 2023 is the 47th celebration over a span of more than 90 years.

Young Art 2023 features youth works of art from the San Diego County and Tijuana regions with the theme of Comfort and Calm. This juried exhibition invites youth to connect their own lived experiences in seeking, cultivating, and creating comfort or calm, for themselves and others, through a unique work of visual art.

See the exhibition: Young Art 2023: Comfort and Calm

Young Art 2023: Comfort and Calm will be complemented by several programs and activities including Student Art Workshops, docent-led tours, and more. See past featured student works of art and programming on the Young Art 2021: My World, Our Planet exhibition webpage.

See highlights from Young Art 2019: Breaking Traditions and Young Art 2021: My World, Our Planet.

Submit Art to Young Art 2023

Submission guidelines with information on the parameters of what works of art will be considered for the juried exhibition is available online here. Please see the Young Art 2023 submission guidelines, the list important dates on the right sidebar of this webpage, and the below FAQs prior to preparing youth art submissions.

Thank you to everyone who submitted art to Young Art. Digital submissions are now closed.

We invite all youth artists from the San Diego County and Tijuana regions to visit The San Diego Museum of Art for inspiration. Observe and interpret works of art from the Museum collection in person or virtually through the below resources.

Featured: Peter Hurd, Eve of St. John, 1960. Tempera on board. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Norton S. Walbridge, 1975.69.


How can this year's Young Art theme be interpreted?

Consider how to blend imagination, ideas, or memory to create a work of art that gives others a chance to understand your experiences of comfort or calm through your own style of personal visual storytelling or expression.


Sample prompts for youth artists include the following:

  • What does comfort mean to you?
  • Where in your own life do you experience comfort?
  • What does calm mean to you?
  • Where and when do you experience a sense of calm?
  • How are comfort and calm similar? How are they different?
  • Are comfort and calm physical, emotional, mental, or….?
  • Consider what you do to create comfort for yourself. Consider what you do to calm yourself. How are they different?
  • Consider the efforts you make to cultivate comfort or calm for others.
  • How do others in your life cultivate comfort or create calm, for you?
  • Why is comfort and calm important? How can you extend comfort or calm to someone, today?

How can we communicate ideas visually?

We encourage students to personally respond to this year’s Young Art theme by harnessing their own ideas and creativity. Consider how to turn ideas into a visual work, then choose an art media for the translation.


  • Objects (Still Life)
  • Environment (Landscape or Interior View)
  • Figurative: Body language or facial expression (Portrait)
  • Abstraction of color, shape or line
  • And more…


Consider how the elements of art and principles of design can support decision-making and editing.

  • Elements of Art: (color, value, line, shape, form, texture, and space)
  • Principles of Design: (rhythm, unity, emphasis, movement, contrast, pattern, and balance)

What about juxtapositions and counterpoints to the theme of Comfort and Calm?

Jurors will consider youth works who respond to this year’s theme of Comfort and Calm through visual and conceptual counterpoints, including expressions of discomfort or discord.

What are the guidelines for submission?

All San Diego County and Tijuana region youth (from K-12 public, private, or home schools) are invited to submit works via an adult representative for consideration. Works submitted may be executed in two or three-dimensional media and must meet the Young Art 2023 Guidelines for Submission to be considered. A broad variety of media is encouraged including youth painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, digital media, video, mixed media, collage, sculpture, fiber arts, artist books etc.

How are the artworks submitted?

Works will be submitted digitally. Complete information on this process will be available in January 2023. Digital submissions will be open January 2 through January 26, 2023. Please refer to the Young Art 2023 Important Dates to Remember for a complete list of Young Art 2023-related dates.

How are the works of art exhibited inside the Museum selected?

A jury of educators and artists will select the works of art that will be exhibited in Young Art 2023. These will be selected on the basis of visual elements, originality, age appropriateness, interpretive connection to the exhibition theme, and craftsmanship.

How will artists be notified of acceptance?

Participating educators, adults, and youth representatives will be notified by email whether or not their students’ works of art have been selected for exhibition in Young Art 2023. Notification emails will be sent on or before Monday, January 30, 2023.

How are exhibiting students recognized?

Students selected for the Museum’s exhibition will be invited to a celebration for Young Art 2023 artists, families, adult representatives, and educators on Saturday, April 1, 2023, during the Museum’s annual Art Alive weekend.


Digital invitations to the reception will be sent to the adult representatives of exhibiting students who submitted the works of art. Exhibiting youth, families, adult representatives, and educators will receive complimentary admission to the Garden of Activities celebration and the Art Alive exhibition for the day.