Artists, get out the canvas and paint brushes, grab a camera, start carving and building sculptures. It's time for the annual Western Heritage Art Competition.

The competition is open to adults 18 and older. The entry fee is $25 for first entry and $10 for each additional entry.

An anonymous panel of judges will evaluate the art work and award cash prizes, to be determined later.

Unlike previous years, there are no laws and no rules. It's just art. The only guideline is it must depict something that expresses the western culture of the area, said Bobbi Brown, director of the Carnegie Center for the Arts in Dodge City.

Instructions for the competition include: Artwork must be ready to hang; Artwork includes, but is not limited to drawing, painting, mixed media, photography and three dimensional art. All artwork must be original and no copyrighted images are allowed.

Artists are asked to include a short written explanation of the relationship of the subject to the theme. Winners will be announced from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Final Friday, July 26, at the Carnegie Center. Prizes will be awarded for first, second, third plus honorable mention.

The art contest has been going on for years. Its a way to get people to think about their western heritage and about Dodge City. In the past, there have been different topics. in 2018, the topics were animals and plants associated with their western heritage, Brown said.

But this year is different. In order to get more artists involved, the media is wide open and includes painting, sculpture, water color, photography or whatever art media the artist chooses just as long as the art work reflects western heritage, Brown said.

Brown said some might think that photography is not an art but she disagrees. If just anyone tried to get a picture of a hummingbird in flight or capture a sunset at just the right moment, they would understand the patience and skill it takes to be a photographer.

By increasing the choice of media, the Center hopes to get a lot more artists involved.

"It's a great opportunity to show their (artists) work and talent," Brown said. "We're always trying to get more members of the community involved."

Having the contest not only allows the artists a chance to show their skills but offers them the opportunity to enjoy the world around them.

"We get so busy with our schedules, we don't take the time to appreciate our surroundings. This is a way for people to stop and reflect and have fun and wonder 'will I the chosen, will I be the one,'" Brown said.

In addition to the artist involvement, the public gets a chance to get out and go see the art work at the Carnegie Center for the Arts at 701 Second Avenue in Dodge City.

While this contest is just for adults, there is a separate contest for those 17 and under in April.

Special thanks go to Dr. R.C. Trotter and his wife, Mary, sponsors that have supplied money for prizes.