Ray Padre Johnson
By Dr. H.R. Meier
International author, art critic and United Nations historian, Dr. Noel Brown, writes in his biographical presentation of Padre, that "he has truly lived the adventure of the renaissance man in our time."
In the 1990's our International award winning artist and author completed his internationally celebrated 13 year Faces of the Human Family project by actually living with the people as they lived in 159 nations. This also involved crisscrossing all 50 states of the USA to listen, observe, enjoy and communicate with its people and cultural diversity.
Padre's resulting 500 portraits of the World that reflects the best in the human drama by capturing the open refreshing expression of the child in every facial image of all ages were painted on his centerpiece canvas of the human family and on 24 additional canvases representing the 24 geographical regions of our planet. This once of a kind ever project in this history of the World and his book, Journeys with the Global Family, that presents his world view philosophy of life and also excellent photo reproductions of his award winning western, wild life and all his global portraits, were both featured at a very successful United Nation New York premiere opening and overseas premiere at Beijing China's Forbidden City Royal Palace site. It was the first time that an American artist was invited to exhibit at this prestigious site in China.
Dr. Brown further writes; "To understand the natural spirit of freedom and breathing quality in Padre's unique forms of artistic creativity and written insights, you have to appreciate the influence that the following interesting range of life events and job descriptions had in shaping the quality in his present artistic and written accomplishments. Some of these include living the life of an authentic working cowboy with a number of major Wyoming and Montana ranching outfits, a blue collar worker in heavy construction, a very successful college athlete, a hospital emergency room and operating room medical technician, a holder of State and National leadership positions in government and human services, a ordained Lutheran Church in America pastor, a recipient of advanced degrees in Theology and Cultural Anthropology and many leading achievement awards in recognition of his art, humanitarian and written accomplishments.
During his service in the Vietnam War, he was wounded twice while leading successful medical rescue missions with his Special Forces unit. For his many life saving medical intervention efforts under some of the most impossible combat situations, he was very highly decorated. A year after his return from Vietnam, he was honored as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans. It was only the second time in the awards history, from its beginning in 1938, that this honor was given for one's military medical accomplishments in combat. In previous years this honor was given to such notables as John F. Kennedy, Henry Kissinger and many others for their national and global leadership accomplishments.
Currently, Padre receives invitations to present his World view insights and art at International conferences, churches, colleges, universities and schools of all levels throughout the USA, Canada and overseas.
Dr. Brown concludes his biographical description of Padre's fascinating many lives journey with the following insight. He writes, "As we move on through the approaching years of rapid global change, I believe that Padre's exceptional ability to translate his insights of the human family and the meaning and purpose of our human existence through the creativity of his visual art, writings, refreshing humor and the spoken word, will not only provide a very important visual contribution toward increased understanding among the people of our planet but will maintain a unique historical significance as he heaves his enduring mark on the consciousness of each reader, viewer and listener."