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Nothing but art

"It's a great show," she said. "It's a lot of fun."

Dianne Tracy of Schenectady goes so far as to call it "my favorite art show in the whole world." Tracy is particularly appreciative of the emphasis on art, nothing there are "no jewelry, no T-shirts ... you can't even have greeting cards."

Tracy has been a mainstay at the show since the mid-1980s. She had always wanted to try her hand at art, but she took a more practical career route, going to business school.

"I hated it," she said flatly.

After her kids went to school, Tracy decided to give art a try. After working in several mediums, she decided watercolors were her strength. She first showed them off in the Stockade when a cousin who is a photographer offered to share his space with her, telling her he had only enough photos to fill about half his table.

"I sold half my inventory," she said. "It gave me a boost."

Tracy opened a gallery on Schroon Lake in the Adirondacks and started attending more than 20 art shows a year. But the Stockade show will always have a special place in her heart.

"I wouldn't miss it for the world," she said. "They put so much energy into it. It's a camaraderie thing."

"I think it's a place where people come to meet other people," co-chair Connie Colangelo agreed. "You'll see people with dogs, people with baby carriages."

For the past 20 years or so, the show has been held on the same weekend as St. George's Greek Orthodox Church's Greek Festival, which is across Erie Boulevard at the Hellenic Center on Liberty Street. The festival features Greek food, dancing and crafts as well as rides and games for kids. Schenectady's Little Italy festival is also that weekend, sandwiched between the Greek festival and the art show on Jay Street and offering Italian cultural exhibits, Italian films, contests, children's activities and special guests.

"It's just a great way to enjoy the downtown area," Colangelo said. "You're bound to find something you like." ""

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