Competitions & Contests

55th Annual Smoky Hill Art Competition & Exhibition

Entry Dates 2024-03-19T23:59:00+00:00 - 2024-01-05T00:00:00+00:00 21 Days Left


The Hays Arts Council announces the 55th Annual Smoky Hill Art Competition & Exhibition.  The "Smoky Hill" is open to Kansas artists (in both 2-D & 3-D media).  A minimum entry fee of $30 allows for submission of two (2) works - two (2) additional works may be entered for a fee of $5 each.
April 27 through June 7, 2024
Multiple cash awards totaling $3,000
will be awarded at the juror’s discretion. The HAC promotes a purchase program among its patrons.
Michael D. Michaelis is President of Emprise Financial Corporation and the personal curator of the Emprise Art Collection, which features more than 3,400 works by nearly 900 artists and is regarded as the largest Kansas art collection in the world. From pottery and sculptures to photographs and paintings, the collection includes work from 1885 to present, with artistic styles ranging from impressionism to realism to abstract. Works from his collection have been on loan to the Museum of Modern Art and the U.S. “Art in Embassies” program.
In keeping with his commitment of supporting artists and fostering vibrant art communities, he assumed ownership of the Reuben Saunders Gallery upon its founder’s retirement in early 2021.  Mike Michaelis has received the Americans for the Arts prestigious "Business Top 10" award, the Kansas Governor’s Arts Award, and has served on the boards of numerous art museums and organizations.
A $30 entry fee provides for the submission of two (2) works. Two (2) additional works may be entered for a fee of $5 each. ENTRY FEES ARE NON-REFUNDABLE. In addition to online payment, the Hays Arts Council will accept checks or cash for entry fees. If you prefer to pay by check or cash, contact us for a payment code to complete entry submission.
Entry submission closes Tuesday, March 19 at 11:59pm.
A maximum of three (3) images will be accepted for each submitted work (2-D or 3-D).
For tips on photographing your work for use in an online call visit:
- All entries must be of original design and personal execution, completed within the last two years, and not previously exhibited in a Smoky Hill Exhibition.
- An artist may submit up to four (4) works.
- Work must be able to pass through a standard doorway (approx. 36”x78”) - otherwise, there are NO size restrictions.
 - All accepted works must be finished works of art ready for installation as follows:
Works on paper must be mounted and secured in professional frames under glass or acrylic and ready for installation. Please no plastic frames or clip style frames. Collage elements must be secured or protected behind glass.Paintings or photographs on canvas need to have a finished edge whether clean, painted or with wood stripping. Paintings or photographs on canvas boards need to be framed. Work should be dry and fixed. No wet paint.All 2-D artworks must have a hanging device - screw eyes or D-rings with braided picture wire securely wrapped. Works under 14” (outside dimensions) in both height and width may use saw tooth hangers.Wall hanging fabric works will need to include a hanging device, such as an embedded sleeve along with a dowel or rod.Photographs mounted on acrylic or aluminum are fine as long as the hanging device is incorporated in a professional manner.  Photographers must submit finished artworks at the size listed in submission entry.Heavy sculpture that is to stand on the floor (rather than placed on a pedestal) must include a pad or cushioning elements to protect the wood floor.Artists may not substitute another work for an accepted work, alter a work, or withdraw or remove a work after it has been accepted.
- Commercial duplication of a work not accepted.
- Selected work must remain during the entire exhibition.
Notification of works accepted or declined will be sent by April 2, 2024. The juror reserves the right to remove an unacceptable entry during the final judging. Accepted works which differ significantly from the submitted images will also be disqualified.
All shipped works are to be sent in reusable packaging.  Allow ample time for entries to reach us. Accepted works will be received at the Hays Arts Center beginning Friday, April 12 and must arrive no later than Thursday, April 18.  Hand-delivered works will be accepted Monday through Friday, 10am to 4pm
The juror reserves the right to remove an unacceptable entry during the final judging. Accepted works which differ significantly from the submitted images will also be disqualified.
The sale price of works must be noted with entry information. If work is not for sale, the price is to be listed as 0.00
The Hays Arts Council will retain a one-third (33 1/3%) commission
on sales of all accepted works. Payments for all works sold will be made to the artist on or before June 15, 2024.
Artists are responsible for all shipping costs of accepted work using FedEx, UPS or USPS. Include a paid return shipping label in the package (do not include stamps). Confirm that your shipping provider will refund the return shipping label in the event your work is sold.  Hand-delivered works can be collected beginning Monday, June 10.  Return shipments will be completed & shipped by June 14.  The Hays Arts Council will NOT be responsible for works left after July 1, 2024.
Print and/or digital catalog of awards, accepted works, and complete exhibition list will be available at the Hays Arts Center and/or through our website (
The opening of the 2024 Smoky Hill Art Exhibition will be Saturday, April 27, from 10am to 4pm, serving as the anchor of the Hays Arts Council 2024 Spring Art Walk. The exhibition will close June 7, 2024.
The Hays Arts Council (HAC) shall, upon possession of the artist’s work(s), exercise due care in handling. The artist is responsible for packing, shipping, insurance and other handling expenses and the risk of loss or damage incurred in the delivery of the artworks. The HAC shall not be responsible for any loss or damage to the artist’s artwork while in the HAC’s possession unless loss or damage is, or can be, directly attributable to intentional or negligent acts by HAC employees or volunteers. The artist is responsible for the return of all unsold work(s).
The Hays Arts Council shall assume the right to reproduce the image of any accepted entry for catalog or promotional purposes related to this exhibition.
The completion of entry submission constitutes the artist’s agreement with this prospectus.
March 19: Entry deadline 
April 2: Selection notification (by email)
April 12-18: Delivery of accepted works (shipped or hand-delivered)
April 27: Exhibit opens
June 7: Exhibit closes
June 10-14: Pick-up exhibited work
June 14: Return shipments complete
Gallery and individual works images from the 2022 and 2023 Smoky Hill Exhibitions at Smoky Hill (
The 55th Annual Smoky Hill Art Competition is sponsored by Jeter Law Firm, Emprise Bank, Vyve Broadband, and Northwestern Printers.
- You will need to create a profile with a user login and a password. - You will receive a prompt that says you have 24 minutes to complete your registration. Don't worry. Your information will be saved. You can log in again to edit, change or complete your information at any time prior to the submission deadline.- will send you a confirmation email once you register for the 2024 Juried Exhibition. Check your "spam" or "junk" folder if you don't receive confirmation.- When you are ready to submit, have your artwork information ready to enter, including your image file(s).
- Below is a quick tutorial you can watch to help with the submission process.  (open this video in YouTube for better viewing quality)