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Shadows-on-the-Teche Plein Air 2021

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Painting of Rip Van Winkle Gardens by Peggy Usner shown with a peacock in the middle of the gardens at Shadows on the Teche Plein Air Competition
Rip Van Winkle Gardens by Peggy Usner - Shadows-on-the-Teche


The Shadows-on-the-Teche Plein Air Painting Competition will take place March 13-19, 2021.

Visitors are invited to travel around the seven-parish area and watch artists paint en plein air. Of the 68 applicants, judge Kenn Backhaus selected 25 artists to compete.

Other festivities planned during competition week are an art talk, painting demonstration, paint out, awards reception and fine art sale, and quick draw competition. All activities and events are free to attend and participate unless otherwise noted.


Harold Letz paints at Jungle Gardens at Shadows on the Teche Plein Air Painting Competition
Harold Letz at Jungle Gardens - Shadows on the Teche 


  • Sat., March 13 at 3 p.m.: Quick Draw competition in downtown New Iberia where artists will have two hours to complete a painting.


  • Tues., March 16 at 1 p.m.: Kenn Backhaus will lead a Plein Air Painting Demonstration at the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum.


  • Wed., March 17 at 7:30 p.m.: Kenn Backhaus will lead a Plein Air Painting Talk at the Shadows Visitor Center.


  • Thurs., March 18 at 2 p.m.: Kenn Backhaus will lead a Plein Air Painting Demonstration near the Shadows in downtown New Iberia.


  • Fri., March 19 from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.: Artists of all ages and skill levels are invited to participate in a Paint Out in Downtown New Iberia. Works produced at the Paint Out will be judged, awarded ribbons, and available for sale. Free to participate, but registration is required.


  • Fri., March 19 at 6:30 p.m.: Shadows Plein Air culminates in an Awards Ceremony & Fine Art Sale at the Shadows Visitor Center. Awards announced at 7 p.m. All paintings completed during the week will be available for sale throughout the week at the Shadows Visitor Center and online.


List of artists participating in Shadows on the Teche Plein Air Painting Competition 2021

About Shadows-on-the-Teche Plein Air:

The Shadows-on-the-Teche Plein Air competition debuted in 2015, introducing the community to painting en plein air. The tradition of “painting outside” is one explored by William Weeks Hall, the last private owner of the Shadows, who advertised for and taught painting classes in the gardens in the 1940s. In the seven-year history of the competition, over 170 artists from 25 states, Canada, and the Philippines have applied to participate.

Almost 100 of these artists have traveled to New Iberia for the opportunity to spend a week painting Acadiana, helping to preserve our unique landscape and historic, urban, and rural viewscapes. Painting sales, the driving force behind the event and a clearer measure of success, increase each year with a grand total of $100,000 over the history of the event, providing support to the artists and the Shadows.


Shadows on the Teche plantation home's facade

About the Shadows-on-the-Teche:

The Shadows-on-the-Teche, National Trust for Historic Preservation site, opened to the public in 1961 with the mission to preserve the buildings, landscape, collections, and historical integrity of the site; to research and interpret through education programs a 19th century southern Louisiana plantation economy and community and their evolution; and to encourage an appreciation of and interest in historic preservation.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, which owns and operates the Shadows-on-the-Teche, is a private, non-profit organization. The Shadows does not receive funding from federal, state, parish, or city government. The site supports itself through admissions, special programs and events, and donations to the Friends of the Shadows. For more information, visit

For more information please contact Jayd Buteaux at (337) 369-6446 or by e-mail and follow the event on Facebook.  Click to bid on completed Plein Air paintings. Any funds raised from this event provide funding for art education.


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