Vincent Giannetto's art “is born from the love of the outdoors, from respect and affection for game, and from recognition that nature's beauty is something worthy of preservation.”
- Mr. Johnny Wells
Not far from the banks of the Delaware River, Vince still lives in the same home he, his parents, and his brother built from the ground up. The shop he carves in each day is built around the skeleton of the old corn bin he labored to fill each season as a child. Beyond their property lie the fields and streams, the ponds and the Delaware River that has shaped so much of his life. He is a man of tradition, and those who know the Delaware know the rich history of other carvers and duck hunters who came before him and created the uniquely American art form: the Delaware River hunting Decoy. This tradition, and the decoys that represent it, have shaped him as much as the river itself has, and after over 5 decades as a world-class decoy carver and artist, he carries on these traditions in each piece of art he shapes.
He attended his first decoy show in Babylon, Long Island in 1967 at the invitation of a local hunter and came away convinced that he could compete or at least try. The following year he entered a hen bufflehead in the show took home the best in show. In 1969 he won 10 carving competitions from Maine to Mississippi, and Michigan to Long Island. As he increasingly found his way into the winner’s circle, and his work became increasingly known and respected, Giannetto decoys came to be sought by collectors and hunters alike. In his early years he won best of show ribbons in nearly every major carving competition in the country.
As he progressed he became featured in he and his artwork have been featured in Country Living magazine, Country Business, New Jersey Outdoors, numerous newspapers articles and news interviews. His work has also been displayed in numerous business, galleries, museums and even the Christmas windows of Rockefeller Center in New York City. During the Christmas season of 2002 he was invited to carve an ornament for the White House Christmas tree, and attended the dedication ceremony at our nation's capitol.
The first Santas were made as gifts for Vince's family, but so many people enjoyed them that he decided to bring them along at shows. Soon the demand was too high to pass up and he began carving other things.
“As you become increasingly well known as a carver your decoys become more expensive," says Vince. "And if you’re a decorative carver the price has to be too high on each piece to get your money back for all the time you put into them. So the answer I found was to create things that were more widely accepted. There is huge demand these days for folk art that isn’t mass produced and it gives me the chance to carve, and sell, nearly anything I can think up.”