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Rural Kansas Photo Contest accepting entries to showcase the state

Rural Health Education and Services at KU Medical Center invites entries to highlight the unique beauty of Kansas and its people

A glass ball on a fence post reflects the sunset in the distance. The words Beauty in Kansas 2023 appear above.
Winners of the 2023 contest will be invited to submit their photos to the 2024 “Beauty in Kansas” wall calendar.

Is that really in Kansas?

Why yes, it is. The photos entered in the Rural Kansas Photo Contest don’t just give photographers a chance to show off their work, they also highlight the unique beauty of the state.

The Rural Kansas Photo Contest, which is hosted by Rural Education and Services at the University of Kansas Medical Center, is in its 18th year.

“It is one of our favorite projects and we look forward to seeing all the entries,” said Jenifer Yuza, marketing and resource manager of Rural Health Education and Services. “We have been able to create a large catalog of photos that we use to promote all areas of Kansas to future health care providers who are considering practicing in Kansas. It’s a great way to show that Kansas is a great place to live, work and play.”

Last year was the first time young people could submit entries. “We had great participation in the Youth category last year and have decided to continue that division,” Yuza said. “Youth ages 13-17 are invited to submit up to three photos in any of the categories. A first- and second-place winner will be selected from the Youth division.”

New this year are three categories: Symbols of Kansas, Big Sky Kansas and Murals, Sculptures and Signs.

Squirrel in a tree
"Squirrel Exhaustion” was the winner of the
2022 Wildlife & Critters category. This photo
was taken by Neal Bralley on the KU campus
in Douglas County.
Contest details

The contest is now open and accepting entries until Oct. 9, 2023. One grand prize winner will be published as the cover image of the January 2024 issue of Kansas Country Living magazine. See the contest page for full details and to enter.

Categories for 2023:

  • Symbols of Kansas — Many symbols represent our great state of Kansas. Show us your favorite symbols of Kansas; perhaps these include buffalo, cottonwood trees, honeybees, western meadowlarks, etc.
  • Big Sky Kansas — Capture the beauty of the sky or the horizon and all you see there.
  • Murals, Sculptures and Signs — Reveal the artistic side of Kansas with painted murals, sculptures, art in nature or unique signage.
  • Health care in Kansas — What does a healthy Kansas mean to you? Enter your representation of a healthy community, health care event, health care providers or health care facilities.
  • Wildlife and Critters — Show us the fuzzy, furry, creepy and crawly friends that call Kansas home.

Winners also will be invited to submit their photos for a 2024 Beauty in Kansas wall calendar. The calendar sells to the public for $15. Proceeds from the sales are funneled back into the Rural Kansas Photography Contest.

Sunflower just before it blooms
“Waking Up,” taken by Johanna Walker in Douglas County,
was the winner of the inaugural Youth division in 2022.

Want to vote on the winners?

The public is invited to vote in-person or online on National Rural Health Day, Nov. 16.

Rural Health Education and Services will host receptions on both the Kansas City and Wichita campuses of KU School of Medicine on Rural Health Day where people can stop by in person and cast their votes.

If you’d like to vote electronically, subscribe to the photo contest mailing list for a link to vote, as well as announcements about the contest and related materials.

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