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Joan Calhoun Took the Scenic Route

Anderson Artists Guild member Joan Calhoun now has a job she loves as an instructional aide in a special-needs high school classroom. It’s a self-contained class, usually for students with moderate to severe disabilities, though the pandemic has created a broader group. “It’s challenging but rewarding,” she said. “I enjoy it.”

To get to this point, Calhoun says she took “the scenic route.” One step in that journey was managing a video store. “It was okay, but everybody said I was too nice to be a manager,” she said. “I would rather do it myself than get somebody else to do it.”

She also worked as a children’s minister and a youth minister at the church where her first husband was an ordained minister. Then she taught in a private preschool and later served as a companion aide for a child with cerebral palsy. “I was a tutor and note taker,” she said. “I was his hands and feet.”

Always, she has loved to draw, and in high school she took private oil painting lessons. But she abandoned the lead-based paints when she became a mom, and only recently took up art again, this time with acrylics. She does a lot of local scenes, especially the many waterfalls in Oconee County, where she lives. She has sold some of these, as well as pet portraits, through her Facebook page.

For more information about Calhoun, visit


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