September 29, 2020

Amplifier and J. Paul Getty Museum Partner to Inspire Teens Nationwide Through 'In Pursuit of __' Open Call for Photography



LOS ANGELES - The J. Paul Getty Museum and nonprofit design lab Amplifier are issuing a joint open call for art from students ages 13-19 around the theme of “In Pursuit of__.”


Amplifier is best known for the record-breaking 2017 “We The People” public art campaign with Shepard Fairey. “In Pursuit of__” is the 2020 theme of the Getty’s award-winning Unshuttered photography program, which is a platform and community 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 the fundamental concepts of that historic document.


The top 10 art submissions will be included in an exciting Amplifier projection series in cities nationwide and distributed via the Getty Museum’s social media and education, digital, and exhibition platforms.


The prompt is an invitation to consider, inspire, and share. 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.


“Getty Unshuttered is a photographic community where everyone can use art to become a force to be reckoned with. No one is better at signaling powerful artistic messages than Amplifier through their signature global campaigns,” said Keishia Gu, head of education for the J. Paul Getty Museum. “For this reason, Amplifier is the perfect partner for us as we seek to take Unshuttered to a broader audience and encourage teens nationally to share with us what they are ‘In Pursuit of.’”

For this project, Amplifier has put together its first-ever “how to,” a 30-minute video lesson plan teaching the more than one million students in its Education Amplifier network, as well as the Getty’s education networks, how to produce powerful, relevant artworks that combine photographic imagery and text to convey a message, in the style of such iconic artists as Barbara Kruger and Hank Willis Thomas, as well as many in the Amplifier portfolio of artists.
The video was conceptualized by Amplifier’s founder and creative director Aaron Huey, who is a Webby-award-winning National Geographic photographer and media designer and John S. and James L. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University.

“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 three words like ‘We the People’ -- that can reach hundreds of millions to drive conversations and lead to real change,” explains Huey. “What we’ve created here 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.  If this work is fun for you, keep going -- you just might help fuel a movement!”

“We are so honored to partner with the Getty Museum’s education department on this inspiring and important initiative,” adds Amplifier’s Executive Director Cleo Barnett. “It answers our educators and homeschooling parents’ calls for fun, project-based learning that helps students meaningfully engage with their teachers, peers, and the world around them during this time of distance learning and virtual classrooms.” 

Students will answer the question “What are you in pursuit of?” and then spend the four compact lessons learning how to build a simple visual story around their answer, using photos and text, in the same way Amplifier has built some of the most powerful campaigns in the world. 


Users can find the instructional video and accompanying lesson plan, 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).

The top ten photographers will be contacted via email for additional details.

Members of the public can also vote for their favorite artworks on the open call page.

Submit away, and tag us at @gettyunshuttered and @amplifierart!


The Getty’s Unshuttered program is generously supported by the Genesis Inspiration Foundation.



Amplifier Contact: Emily Goulding                                                   Getty Contact: Valerie Tate (626) 825-5238                             (480) 276-2274






Getty is a leading global arts organization committed to the exhibition, conservation, and understanding of the world’s artistic and cultural heritage.  Working collaboratively with partners around the globe, the Getty Foundation, Getty Conservation Institute, Getty Museum and Getty Research Institute are all dedicated to the greater understanding of the relationships between the world’s many cultures.  The Los Angeles-based J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs share art, knowledge, and resources online at and welcome the public for free at the Getty Center and the Getty Villa.


Amplifier is a nonprofit design lab that makes art and media experiments to amplify the most important social movements of our time. Since 2015, we’ve commissioned over 400+ artists, distributed tens of millions of pieces of art and sent free artwork to hundreds of thousands of students across the United States.

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