Tankersley's new paintings celebrate Harriet Tubman

Nancy Tankersley thinks the Waterfowl Festival has helped put Easton on the national map as far as art is concerned. These impressionist paintings behind her celebrate Harriet Tubman’s journeys along the Choptank, leading enslaved people to freedom.

EASTON — Impressionist painter Nancy Tankersley of Easton was the featured artist of the Waterfowl Festival in 2019. Her large soulful canvases hang in the Art in the Pavilion tent this year.

“I have been painting 40 some years, since I was a teenager. I went to college in the 60s and majored in art for two years. But I didn’t see a career path, so I switched to social studies. But in my 30’s I got back into painting. I couldn’t help it,” she said.

She sees the Festival as a great way to have her work seen.

“It is very helpful. Not only do you make really good sales during the Festival, your work is introduced to new people, who may down the road come back and see what you have done. The Festival is crucial really,” Tankersley said.

This is her sixth year being selected to exhibit in the show. She looks toward the biggest canvas she is showing.

“This big one is the first time I have introduced a large landscape,” she said. “It is 48 x 60 inches. It is a local scene of the Choptank River off of Dover Road. I am doing a new series here. When I first got here I loved (the river) for its beauty, but now I understand its historical significance as part of the Underground Railroad. It is the water path. I am very interested in celebrating the Choptank. This one is called ‘The Path.’”

Then she took a step back to take in the whole tent full of art and artists.

“Most of the people in this tent have been featured artists. Don Rambadt has been in the hall of fame and Julia Rogers and Mathew Hillier and I have all been featured artists. Everyone knows Bart Walter because his statue is in front of the Armory and has been for 25 years. He is the featured artist this year. Being in the tent, yeah, I like it,” she said.

Tankersley noticed that this festival has been better than normal as far as sales. She has sold four so far.

She speaks about the Talbot County art scene in general.

“I think it is vibrant. I think this festival and the Plein Air festival have really brought Easton to international attention. When I travel people know all about Easton and consequently it is bringing more artists here. I teach workshops and I get people from all over the country to here to take workshops.”

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