Joan Baez, painter

From the beginning, Joan Baez’ life’s work was mirrored in her music and now in her painting.  At a point when it was neither safe nor fashionable, Joan put herself on the line countless times. She sang about freedom and Civil Rights everywhere, from the backs of flatbed trucks in Mississippi to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s March on Washington in 1963. She withheld a portion of her income tax from the IRS to protest military spending in 1964, and participated in the birth of the Free Speech movement at UC Berkeley. A year later she co-founded the Institute For The Study Of Nonviolence near her home in Carmel Valley. She stood in the fields alongside Cesar Chavez and migrant farm workers striking for fair wages in 1966, and opposed capital punishment at San Quentin during a Christmas vigil.

2018 saw the first solo exhibition of Joan’s paintings presented in Mill Valley, CA. She called the exhibit “Mischief Makers” – portraits of risk-taking visionaries who have brought about social change through nonviolent action. The bulk of the collection was subsequently purchased by the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria and donated to Sonoma State University, where it will eventually be displayed at an envisioned new social justice learning center on campus.