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Vietri artist Alessandro Taddei received celebrity treatment from host Marcus McEntire, owner of Distinctive Decor and the shop visitors at the Vietri Italian Holiday Signing held Tuesday.
Duncan residents were plentiful and eager to meet, converse and take pictures with the Italian artist.
Taddei hails from a small town outside of Florence, Italy spending much of his time around ceramics and painting. He has been painting for more than 30 years. Taddei said he started shortly after high school before continuing to ceramic school.
One of his Vietri career masterpieces is the “Old St. Nick” series, which he created.
“This was born around four years ago,” Taddei said. “Santa comes from the forest. He prepares his sleigh and prepares the toys. It is tough work. He is a very human Santa.”
Taddei said his favorite pieces are the ones that show St. Nick resting. A change to the normal winter wonderland scene that Santa is normally portrayed in, Taddei’s work depicts a forest scene where Santa rests on logs or other forest areas.
“It is so comical, so human,” Taddei said.
Taddei travels with Vietri once a year. This is the first time that Vietri has done a show at Distinctive Decor and this show marks the first time that Distinctive Decor has done an artist presentation.
“Distinctive Decor is one of our best customers,” Vietri Sales Manager Holli Draughn said. “We do artist shows with our best customers.”
Another first for this event that it was being streamed online to Distinctive Decor website visitors, a first for Vietri and Distinctive Decor.
Customers that had purchased pieces to be signed by Taddei but were unable to make the event were able to watch the event in real-time through the store’s website.
“We have been so excited for this event,” Distinctive Decor Retail Store Merchandiser Elizabeth Pitts said. “We have had a lot of events with the store expansion. This is just the crowning touch.”
Taddei was in the store signing Vietri pieces from 3 to 7 p.m. Door prizes and Italian hors d’oeuvres were included as part of the event. The next stops on Taddei’s tour will include Tulsa and Eureka Spring, Ark.