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2018 Competition

2018 Award Winners

2018 Selected Artists


2018 Competition Judge


Erik Koeppel

Erik Koeppel was born in Oregon, and spent his childhood moving with his family through many of the most beautiful landscapes of North America from the Rocky Mountains, to Southern California, to the Appalachian Range. At the age of ten, he settled in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, where he drew obsessively from nature, and began to develop a love for the expressive potentials of traditional representation. Erik received his formal training from the Rhode Island School of Design followed by the New York Academy of Art, and an annual apprenticeship in Wiscasset, Maine with his professor and friend, Seaver Leslie. After copying extensively from the Italian Masters, he developed a body of work that has been exhibited and collected internationally, and represented across the United States. Koeppel’s mastery of traditional techniques has led him to become one of very few young contemporary artists whose work is regularly exhibited with historic masters of the 19th and early 20th Centuries. He has hung beside Thomas Cole, Winslow Homer, Edgar Degas, John Frederick Kensett, and George Inness, and has had the distinguished honor of entering collections including artists of this caliber. American Artist, PleinAir Magazine, and other respected publications have covered his progress.

Artist Statement:

In the act of painting, I have sought to discover that highest knowledge of Beauty, poetic and philosophical, that has been the common thread between all of the Great Masters of Art. I have spent hours staring at the finest masterpieces in museums worldwide in an effort to decipher that meditative effect that distinguishes greatness from proficiency, and have made the creation of that sentiment my central goal as an artist. Following this path has led me to study deeply the sciences of philosophy, design, linear perspective, anatomy, color, optics, architecture, botany, light and atmosphere with respect to their purposes in art, and I have built a foundation of consistent formal principles that work in harmony to illuminate meaning in painting. As my subject, I have chosen the universal human condition in this world, and have sought wherever possible to discard the sociopolitical fashions of contemporary culture in favor of those enduring sentiments that we all encounter in life. It is my belief that to experience the Beauty of our existence here in this magnificent landscape is the only way to happiness. My intention as an artist is to share that Beauty.

Interested in helping to make City of New Iberia Plein Air a success? We have lots of opportunities!

  • Give suggestions on interesting places for our artists to paint

  • Host an artist throughout competition week

  • Sponsor/provide lunch for artists one day during the week

  • Sponsor an award

Contact us at or (337) 369-2300 if you're interested!

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