Title: Joni Mitchell
Guest: GILLES HEBERT, Mendel Art Gallery
ROBERT ENRIGHT, ArtCritic
MEEKA WALSH, Art Critic.
BEN CHIN: She calls herself a painter who lost her way for a while. But in that while, she became known worldwide for her music; an accomplished guitarist and singer who says she really just loves to paint. So for Joni Mitchell today, a different kind of opening. A collection of her visual art on display for the first time in Canada in her home town. Jo Lynn Sheane reports.
JO LYNN SHEANE: Joni Mitchell is a no new comer to the art world. She studied at the Alberta College of Art. Her work has graced all but one of her albums covers. But she's painted hundreds and hundreds more. This is the first time she's shown her work in Canada and it's the most she's ever shown - 87 works from her private collection.
JONI MITCHELL: I steal time to paint obviously whenever I can. There is a correlation between the music. I think I'm going through a kind of a neo-classicist period in my painting and also in my music.
SHEANE: She chose Saskatoon, her home town. Her parents in their 80's still live here.
MITCHELL: I wanted my parents to, to be able to attend a retrospective of my work. They always were very encouraging.
SHEANE: The gallery's curator says her work is worthy of all the attention.
GILLES HEBERT (Mendel Art Gallery): We realize that in fact she was completely committed to this, to this project and that she in fact probably works at her visual art five, five days a week. And has been doing that for 35 years at least.
SHEANE: In some ways her art is a lot like her music.
SHEANE: She's been a folk singer, a pop star, a jazz vocalist. Her art is varied too. Some oils or acrylics on canvas, photographs, mixed media and like with her singing, her work is always in progress. Some of these paintings have ten to 15 different images underneath them.
Critics say though this exhibit wouldn't attract the same attention if it was anyone else.
ROBERT ENRIGHT (Art Critic): Obviously not but, but that may say something about what's wrong with the media and not what's wrong with her as a painter. She's a good painter. And there's a lot of really good work in this show.
MEEKA WALSH (Art Critic): There are stronger pieces and pieces that are perhaps less strong, but I wouldn't say that any of it is without interest. And the intent in every case is to make fine art.
SHEANE: And fans too, can't say enough about Mitchell's art.
UNIDENTIFIED: Do you have two hours? (LAUGHS) I really wanted to see these works in person because it's very different seeing it in a book or a catalogue and, or in an album cover.
SHEANE: The exhibit opening is expected to attract thousands of fans from all over the world. They all know Joni Mitchell, the singer, but for most, this will be the first time they see the work first hand of Joni Mitchell, the painter and photographer. Jo Lynn Sheane, CBC News, Saskatoon.
CHIN: Now here's our Magazine.
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