Joan was born in Batavia and grew up in Rochester, New York. She studied Art and Design at the Rochester Institute of Technology and has a BS and MS in Art Education from Buffalo State College. After teaching art at Hamburg Junior High for many years, she joined the Humanities Department at Erie Community College, City Campus, where she was granted the President's Award for Outstanding Service. She has worked in acrylic painting, collage and printmaking. The themes of landscape, the seashore, and more recently figures, have always interested her.
Joan is also a poet and a writer. Her fourteen published books include: The Magic Lunch Box, Not Another Christmas!, The Iris House, The Long Way Home, Dark Towers, Merry -Go-Round, Squash by Josh, b'gosh!, There's a Moose in My Juice, and three crime novels, Death in a Cold City, The Arms of Death, and Death's Cold Harvest. Her poetry has appeared in the Buffalo News, Artvoice, Raven Chronicles, HUSK, The Sow's Ear, Northwoods Journal and the Dan River Anthology. In 2005, she was awarded first prize in the Northwoods Journal poetry contest. She is the author of two poetry chapbooks- Glamor and The Sweet Life.
Joan is listed in Who's Who in American Art, Who's Who in America, Who's Who in American Women and Who's Who in the World.