Raised at the Jersey Shore, Nancee Jo Luciani has pursued her interest in the arts and nature wherever she found herself. Concentrating on her interest in birds, decoys, and wood carving, led Nancee Jo to classes at Tuckerton Seaport (NJ), Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art (MD), and privately with several world-renowned carvers. Ms. Luciani was the first female recipient of the NJ State Council on the Arts Folk Arts Apprenticeship grant for Barnegat Bay decoy carving, and participated in The Ward Museum/National Endowment for the Arts project “Carving Out Future Mid-Atlantic Decoy Makers.”
Nancee Jo was one of the featured artists in the landmark “Tradition from a Woman’s Hand: Female Carvers, Historic and Contemporary” (2010), the first exclusively female decoy artist exhibit and catalog in the USA (Jersey Shore Folklife Center @ Tuckerton Seaport, Tuckerton, NJ) and a presenter at the 2012 NJ Folk Festival (Rutgers University). Exhibiting at venues throughout New Jersey, she has won major awards at the Toms River (NJ) Art & Decoy Show, Ocean County Decoy & Gunning Show (Tuckerton, NJ), and the Chesapeake Challenge (Salisbury, MD).
Ms. Luciani serves on the Jersey Shore Folklife Center Advisory Board, Toms River Art & Decoy Festival Committee, and is Editor of “The Watchgander”, a publication of the NJ Decoy Collectors’ Association. She has assisted in curating exhibits, photographed exhibits for publication, created museum signage, and taught workshops for museums, schools, clubs, and private clients. Nancee Jo mentors the Tuckerton Seaport Youth Carvers, and promotes women in the traditionally all-male art of decoy carving.