Joan Baez Turns 80 And Shows Off Her Masterful Paintings in Second Solo Art Exhibit

Singer-songwriter activist Joan Baez turns 80 years-old today—and you can join her for a live streaming event tonight that celebrates a new phase in her life.

After retiring from live performing in 2019, the musician whose 1975 hit, Diamonds & Rust, was written about former lover, Bob Dylan, has turned to painting full-time.

Her new solo art exhibit features portraits of “people making the world a better place.” Mischief Makers 2 is a follow-up to her first show that showcased portraits of people who changed the world through non-violence, like Malala Yousafzai, Aung San Suu Kyi, Ram Dass, John Lewis, and Martin Luther King, Jr—a friend with whom she marched arm-in-arm.

Diamonds and Rust Productions will present the live-streamed 80th birthday celebration online. The event will introduce her new show of portraits with a live interview with Baez, a virtual tour of the show, and other festivities and “mischief” to mark the milestone occasion.

Subjects in her new show include personal heroes and famous friends from the worlds of politics, literature, music, and more, including Nelson Mandela, Patti Smith, Bob Dylan, Kamala Harris, and Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Baez also includes a self-portrait in acrylic, titled “Black Is the Color.”

“I hope this new collection of portraits inspires you,” Baez says in her artist statement. “Maybe it will encourage you to go out and, in the words of the late Congressman John Lewis, ‘make good trouble.’”

During the lockdowns of 2020, she also started performing music from her gorgeous kitchen, and posting the songs on YouTube. Check out her performance of Dylan’s Forever Young dedicated to all the Heroes of the 2020 pandemic…