For Immediate Release
Brittany Racca
(337) 365-1540
(888) 942-3742
Kenn Backhaus En Plein Air Painting Demonstration
at UL Lafayette's Paul & Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum
NEW IBERIA, La. --- As part of the Shadows-on-the-Teche Plein Air Competition, the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette will host a plein air painting demonstration on Tues., March 17 from 1-3 p.m.

The demonstration will be conducted by Kenn Backhaus, acclaimed plein air artist and judge for the 6th annual Shadows-on-the-Teche Plein Air Competition (March 14-21). The demonstration will take place outside, weather permitting, at the Hilliard University Art Museum and is free to attend.

About the Artist:

Kenn Backhaus is the most nationally accredited Bucks County, Pa. impressionist living today. He is a Master Level Artist in both the Oil Painters of America and the American Impressionist Society, Inc.

He is a member and past President of the Plein-Air Painters of America, the oldest and most prestigious plein air organization in the country and has also achieved Signature Member status in the California Art Club, one of the oldest and most active art organizations.

Backhaus' paintings have won numerous awards, been included in several museum shows, featured in Plein Air Magazine, and included in two recently published books. He was one of the host artists in the APT Television Series Passport and Palette and the PBS Series Plein Air, Painting the American Landscape.

In November of 2014, Backhaus was invited, along with nine other artists, on a painting trip to China by Chinese-American Master Artist, Zhiwei Tu and the Zhiwei Tu Museum of China. This trip proved to be a great honor and a very humbling experience.

Backhaus is very passionate about the historic traditions of representational painting and has given back to the profession for over 20 years in various educational programs and workshops. He continues to look for new opportunities to foster the arts and is currently involved through the internet with on-line educational programs. Backhaus’ experience has long been recognized, and he has been asked to judge numerous national shows.

Festival Schedule:

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

  • Wednesday, March 18 at 7:30 p.m.: Kenn Backhaus will lead a Plein Air Painting Talk at the Shadows Visitor Center.

  • Thursday, March 19 at 2 p.m.: Kenn Backhaus will lead a Plein Air Painting Demonstration near the Shadows-on-the-Teche.

  • Friday, March 20 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.

  • Friday, March 20 at 6:30 p.m.: Shadows Plein Air culminates in an Awards Ceremony & Fine Art Sale at the Shadows Visitor Center. Awards announced at 7p.m. All paintings completed during the week will be available for sale.

  • Saturday, March 21 at 9 a.m.: Artists have two hours to complete a painting in downtown New Iberia. Once time is up, artists will bring their completed paintings to The Shadows fence on Main Street. Works will be then 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 .

About the Shadows-on-the-Teche:

The Shadows-on-the-Teche, a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, 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, which owns and operates the Shadows, 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 the Shadows at (337) 369-6446 or or follow the event on Facebook. Any funds raised from this event provide funding for art education.

The Iberia Parish Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official parish marketing agency promoting New Iberia, Avery Island, Jefferson Island, Jeanerette, Loreauville and Delcambre as a destination. Marketing programs target leisure travelers, business travelers, media, entertainment industry, and the travel trade including group tour planners, meeting planners, sports planners and special event planners. The bureau operates a parish welcome center in New Iberia, Louisiana.
For more information on parish events and tourism assets, call the bureau at 337-365-1540 or visit