John Canning & Co.'s Team Spotlight


Jacqueline Canning Riccio

Jackie Riccio

We are proud to showcase the remarkable Jacqueline Canning Riccio, our Studio Design Director, in our Company Spotlight. Jackie has been an invaluable member of our team for over 30 years, bringing an exceptional level of expertise and creativity to each project she undertakes. Her passion for her craft, combined with her leadership skills, makes her an integral part of our team and a driving force behind the success of our decorative finishes projects. We are honored to have Jackie on our team and are thrilled to share her talents with you.

How did you get started in the field?

As one of the daughters of our founder, John Canning, I have always been interested in the decorative arts and wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps. Through working directly with my father and through a decorative arts apprenticeship in Connecticut established by my father, I have been trained in all aspects of our trade, including stenciling, woodgraining, gold leafing, striping, trompe l’oeil, mixing custom paint colors, and layout and design. I have also studied art history, which has served me well as I work on a large range of historical period designs.

Jackie Gilding
Jacqueline gilding at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, California

How long have you been working at this job?

I have been working at John Canning & Co. for over 30 years now, starting when I was learning the trade, and now I run the day-to-day production of designs as the Studio Design Director. My first project was at the Connecticut State Capitol and was an experience that I will never forget. Each project since then has helped me grow and improve as an artist and made me the decorative painter I am today.

Jackie Woodgraining
Jacqueline demonstrating decorative painting techniques

What does a day in your job look like?

Each day in this job is different, as we are always working on different projects that require unique materials and decorative methods. Some days I will be working in the studio on a stenciling project to replicate original patterns, and on others I will be creating trompe l’oeil designs for a custom design project. No two days are the same, which keeps the job very interesting and exciting.

Jacqueline working on decorative painting in the studio

What are some challenges you face at your job, and how do you solve them?

One of the main challenges we used to face pretty often was the lack of modern technology during our projects. Earlier in my career, there were not as many tools to aid the production process, and everything had to be done by hand. Tasks like cutting stencils, mixing paints, and planning layouts & designs took us much longer, but now with the addition of new technology in our studio, we can quickly cut stencils, mix new paint colors, and design the layout of a space from our computers. Although the new technology is helpful, I enjoy using traditional methods and modern-day technologies together. It is neat to see the two approaches being used hand-in-hand to create beautiful, authentic, historical designs.

Jacking Stenciling
Jacqueline working on stenciling in the studio

Do you have a favorite project or a project you are the proudest of?

Some of my favorite projects are ones that we revisit years down the line. I love seeing our old work and how it has withstood the tests of time. Places like the Connecticut State Capitol, St. Mary’s Church, the United States Capitol, and the Michigan State Capitol have all been worked on by Canning in our earlier years, and we have been brought in again to do more work at these historic national landmarks in the more recent years. Revisiting these projects is always exciting, and knowing that our company was chosen to return when work was needed is always an honor.

US Capitol-Sargent at Arms Restoration
Jacqueline performing gold leaf gilding

What advice do you have for someone who is looking to get into the preservation field?

My advice for someone looking to get started in this field is to be ready to work hard. You will often work on-site, so you need to be prepared to climb scaffolding, get your hands dirty, and work long days. This work is demanding, but it is incredibly rewarding to see your work in these beautiful buildings and to know that you had a hand in returning these historic interiors to the original masterpieces that they are.