Joan's education as an artist began with a scholarship for graduate work in Florence, Italy.While there she saw both beautiful art and ugly rubble from the bombings of World War II. Her experiences in Italy, her family history of war service and her work with recent immigrants has influenced early and recent work. She has collaborated with the musician Paul Carlon and the tap dancer, Max Pollack in the multi-disciplinary piece "Where Is Home." She worked with Meg Carlon in a residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, Florida. Other residencies include Sculpture Space, Utica, the Fire Station, Dublin, Ireland, and Pouch Cove, Newfoundland. Her work has been seen in Ireland, Canada, Florida and the Northeast. She has received awards from Rochester Memorial Art Gallery, NY, Binghamton Museum of Art and Science, NY and the Schweinfurth in Auburn, NY.