While the Culture Crossing event was affected by the pandemic in 2020, the 2021 series started off with beautiful weather and a great turnout on May 15th for the 12 selected artists. (Photo courtesy Josepha Price)

Easton is a town with a strong appreciation of art, its streets lined with multiple galleries and hosting several arts festivals.
Still, while the landscape and wildlife pieces that are aplenty are breathtaking, there are several kinds of art that haven’t had the same exposure. The Easton community also serves as a melting pot of culture and activity, and so, a new art gathering series called “Culture Crossing” created along the Easton Rails to Trails in 2019 was just the ticket to unite unique art and culture together.
The open-air market events were a brainchild of local contemporary working artist Josepha Price. If the name isn’t familiar, chances are you’ve seen her work in the Avalon’s fall “Artwalk” or teaching a children’s art class at the YMCA.
While the show was affected by the pandemic in 2020, the 2021 series started off with beautiful weather and a great turnout on May 15 for the 12 selected artists. From beaded jewelry to wood-turned items like chess sets and bowls to macrame pieces and even patterned geckos, it was easy to immerse oneself in the splendor that art doesn’t all come from a brush and canvas.
Remaining 2021 Culture Crossing dates are June 26, Sept. 18, and Oct. 26, each from 10 a.m.-2p.m. along the Rails to Trails of Easton between Dover Road and Goldsborough Street. The message of “Culture Crossing” is that art certainly doesn’t have to look the same for everyone.
The shows also offer a rare opportunity for young artists age 9-17 to exhibit and sell. Price says it was so moving to see the community support the youth who’d been on a rollercoaster of emotions with the interruption school and social schedules and overall unknown the past year brought on young souls. The excitement of not being a vendor but being authenticated by the support of the community served as a confidence booster like none other.
A community event can’t be created without a community of help. The 2019 launch was made possible with help of Carolyn Jaffee of the art community and Ross Benincasa, formerly of Discover Easton to create a successful first year. 2021 received even more help and support with marketing, translating, food, music and more from Natalie Slater of Easton Economic Development Corporation, Arden Kern of EEDC, Jeff Lankford, formerly of EEDC, Dan Vanskiver, Ingrid Diaz Lopez of Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center , Val Cavellari, Rev. Elmer Davis of the Methodist Church, and Megan Cook.
Besides the upbeat feel of music from local musicians and the smell of food cooking floating in the air, Culture Crossing also has art for visitors to dabble in. Student projects from area art teachers are brought out from inside school walls and shown off. There are murals where the community can join together with individual touches to create something special. May’s event even utilized some of those trending plexiglass panels in a fun way where folks could doodle on them then step behind to become a piece of artwork themselves. Face painting, small projects and more line the trail for the young and old for those who may not even consider themselves artsy.
Another feature to help grow artists is a table of free art and craft supplies. With families in our community struggling to pay basic bills, art and craft supplies are not an option for all families. If you have sketchbooks, craft and painting supplies, and the like, consider donating them at the next event so their potential can be fulfilled with a budding artist.
Price grew up in an artistic home, her mother instilling a creative and artistic spirit and a lifestyle of being active. She encouraged her kids to celebrate their Native American heritage by weaving and selling beadwork at Native American Pow Wows or as they got older, proudly selling paintings they’d done. The accomplishment of having a piece sell gave her validation even as a young artist and having art supplies readily available led to a lifelong passion for creation.
As life happens, art would eventually be placed on the backburner for several years while Price raised her sons. As her family got older, Price was encouraged by her new husband to again pursue art as a career and passion, and when the timing was right to do so she made Easton her palette.
In addition to creating her own art, Josepha serves the community by teaching youth art classes, sometimes to children who haven’t had much exposure outside of a school art class. She noticed when teaching younger children, there was a certain fearlessness when it came to their projects. Like many things these days, when they were simply experimenting and testing the water they didn’t yet feel the pressure and fear that can creep in and block creativity when trying to be “perfect” or “correct.”
Art also reaffirmed its importance as the children expressed themselves through their projects, using them as a way to communicate their feelings they had to show and things they had to say. Wanting them to keep their conversation going, her classes offered freestyle time with technique dabbled in.
With these discoveries as well as a realization of a gap in currently celebrated art forms for all in the community, the “Culture Crossing” celebration was launched in 2019, making an inclusive art show for all types of artists. Per the event’s mission statement, “Easton is a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities. Culture Crossing’s mission is to celebrate our diversity during a series of events that will bridge the cultural divides in our communities. Art comes in many forms, and that’s how we like it!”
For more information on the series of events or want to get a sneak peak of the art and artists, follow them on Facebook at ‘Easton Culture Crossing’ or see more information on Discover Easton. Price can be reached at josephaprice01@gmail.com.