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Shadows Plein Air 2020

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Painter Claude Ellender



"The National Trust has made a decision to close Shadows-on-the-Teche effective Friday, March 13th. We have made this decision due to the coronavirus and concerns for the health of our visitors, volunteers, staff, and community. We will be monitoring the situation as changes are occurring rapidly, but at this time, the site will be closed through March 28th.

"While we are closed to the public, The Shadows team will still be working remotely and will continue to communicate. We are sorry for any inconvenience this might cause and hope to reopen for tours and reschedule postponed events as soon as it is deemed safe to do so."


The Shadows-on-the-Teche received almost 60 applicants from 18 states and Canada for the 2020 Shadows-on-the-Teche Plein Air Painting Competition, now in its sixth year.

Applications were submitted from across the United States, from California to Maryland and Wisconsin to Florida. We are pleased to announce that 30 artists have been selected from the talented pool of applicants for this year’s competition scheduled for March 14-21, 2020.

In alphabetical order, the artists are:

Donna Bland Spencer Epps Deborah McAllister Robin Popp Mary O. Smith
Krystal Brown Kim Hall Sydney McGraw Craig Reynolds Richard Sneary
Nanci Charpentier Ray Hassard Spencer Meagher Allana Ruby Gregory Summers
Susan Clark Shawn Dell Joyce Steve Mercer Phil Sandusky Peg Usner
Marty Coulter Dawn Koetting Mary Monk Laura Saxon Chris Willey

Claude Ellender

Fran Mangino Tim Oliver Glinda Schafer Jeff Williams

Painter Andrea SchellmanAll 30 artists will be coming to New Iberia to the Shadows Visitor Center on March 14 to have their blank canvases marked with the official Shadows Plein Air dated stamp before heading out into town and the surrounding six parishes to paint. Artists can paint as many pictures as they wish from Sat., March 14, to Thurs., March 19 when they will submit their two best paintings to be judged by Pennsylvania based plein air artist and instructor Kenn Backhaus.

Artists’ work painted throughout the week will be exhibited and available for sale at the Shadows Visitor Center. Competition winners will be announced and prizes awarded on Fri., March 20. The ceremony, reception, and fine arts sale are free to attend. Other festivities planned during competition week are an art talk, two painting demonstrations, paint out, and quick draw competition.

On Tues., March 17, Backhaus will lead a painting demonstration at the Paul and Lulu Hillard University Art Museum in Lafayette. Backhaus will provide a free public program on painting en plein air at the Shadows Visitor Center on Wed., March 18, at 7 p.m. In the afternoon on Thurs., March 19, Backhaus will lead a painting demonstration in the Shadows Gardens.

On Fri., March 20, all interested artists are invited to participate in a Paint Out in the Shadows Gardens and downtown New Iberia from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.. We encourage artists of all ages to come take part in this free activity. Works produced at the Paint Out will be judged, awarded ribbons, and put on display at the Shadows Visitor Center.

The competition will culminate with a Quick Draw Competition the morning of Sat., March 21. Competitors will have two hours to complete a painting in downtown New Iberia. Works will be judged, awarded ribbons and prizes, and available for sale off the easel. Participation in the Quick Draw is open to all artists for a fee of $10.

The phrase plein air describes art created in the open air, a process much different than producing canvases in the studio. Artists must deal with shifting angles and tones of light as well as adverse weather conditions. Visitors are invited to travel around the seven-parish area and watch artists paint en plein air.

For more information, please contact the Shadows at (337) 369-6446 or visit their website. Any funds raised from this event provide funding for art education.

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