During her career as a performer and activist, Joan Baez walked arm-in-arm with Dr. Martin Luther King in civil rights marches. She was arrested and jailed for protesting the war in Vietnam, romanced by Bob Dylan and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Now, as an artist, she created her first formal exhibition of art.

The exhibition is a collection of portraits of cultural leaders who inspired positive change.

"(It is for) courageous people who’ve made a difference, disrupted the old world order, spoken truth to power and done so not only with commitment and courage, but also with a certain charm, a sense of humor,” said Baez.

The 16 originals portraits include civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, folk singer Bob Dylan, artist and performer Maya Angelou, activist Malala Yousafzai and two self-portraits, one of which she created specifically for Sonoma State University. Baez assembled a cast of characters who’s common thread is, in her words, having the ability to shine in the darkness. She calls the collection "The Mischief Makers.”

The series of paintings were given to Sonoma State University as a gift by the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria for installation in the future Social Justice Learning Center. The exhibition is currently hanging in a second floor gallery in Sonoma States University's Weill Hall, where an open house will give visitors an opportunity to see the collection first hand, free of charge, Thursday, April 19 from 4 pm to 7 pm.

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