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Celebrating Stories: Conversations with Collectors

How to Art Lovers Became a Part of the Celebration’s History

During one of her annual trips to Arizona, Janice Racioppo, made a happy discovery that would turn into a new tradition for her, and eventually, her husband Frank. That chance discovery, when she happened upon the “big white tents,” (a fraction of the size they are today), was more than 20 years ago.

“I was shopping down on Camelback and Scottsdale Rd. and there was this tent,” Janice said. “I like art so I walked in, and I don’t think I’ve missed a year since.”

Though it didn’t happen quickly, she eventually got her husband to go with her in 2004 and he soon realized why it had become an annual tradition for Janice.

“Interacting with the artists is the big feature here,” Frank said. “The artists are here everyday for 70 straight days. To see them developing their art every day and the different types of art…it’s really a show.”

Over the years, Janice and Frank have developed lifelong friendships with many of the artists and the individuals who help put the show together year after year. In many regards, they’ve become a part of the show’s story and history, watching it change and grow.

“It’s really changed over the years too,” Janice said. “Twenty years ago it was mostly paintings and that was what we all considered artwork, but then sculpture came into play, then ceramics, then metal and mixed media.”

“And the show is uplifting,” Frank said. “That’s the only way I can describe it. When you walk through the tent it’s like entering another world. It just lifts your spirits to see so much creativity and energy.”


  1. Julie nash February 11, 2015

    I whole heartedly agree with everything they said. I visited 4 years ago while on holiday in Scottsdale. I wish I could come every year. I always visit your website, it’s the next best thing for me.
    It’s a magical place, there is nothing like it.

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Sep 3rd, 2009
Conversations with Collectors, videos
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