July’s Final Friday with feature photographer Robin Johnson

For photographer, there’s truly no place like home

Robin Johnson is a lifer. Born and raised in Kansas – she has a feel for the Plains, the plants and the people. Come see her unique interpretation of the land she loves this Final Friday at Delano BBQ Company, 710 W. Douglas.

Delano BBQ Company has beome a bit of an art hotspot in its Delano location during the past two years. The fact that Blackbear Bosin had his studio in the old, brick building decades ago might help, but artists like Johnson flocking to the historic locale have also helped to build the tiny eaterie’s artistic street cred. Like its former resident, Bosin, Johnson’s work has a strong connection to the land and the prairies.

“I have lived in Kansas my entire life,” she said. “I have been married for 22 years to Darren and we have three fantastic kids – Layton, Landon and Landry. I didn’t really become interested in photography until about eight years ago and now I rarely go anywhere without my camera.  Landscape, nature and Macro photography are my favorite things to shoot!”
It was a visit to Wichita’s Botanica that jumpstarted her interested in photography, she said.

“My family and I were once at Botanica and they were having their photo contest and I decided that I could do that!” she exclaimed. “I had been taking some flower photos around our own home.  I entered the contest the next year and received an honorable mention.  And while I still love photographing flowers, I have sort of switched to landscape photography.”

A landscape at another public garden, in fact, is her favorite for the exhibition “There’s No Place Like Kansas.”  It is a bridge photo taken at the Bartlett Arboretum.

“It’s very serene and looks like a painting,” said Johnson.

Final Friday art crawlers can dive into the Kansas landscape with Johnson from 5-8 p.m. on July 29  at the popular barbecue joint in Historic Delano. Owners Michelle and Jon Suddeth invite crawlers (experienced and new) to start their journey with a savory smoked meats dinner at the restaurant so they can fuel up for an art (and walking!) filled evening. And to support the artist in her debut Final Friday experience in Bosin’s old studio.

But if you catch artist and restaurant owner, Michelle, laughing together over a plate of funnel cake fries, don’t be surprised. The pair is leaning on a lifelong relationship to help put the evening together.

“Michelle and I have known each other for about 39 years, we went from Kindergarteners at St. Francis to Seniors at Bishop Carroll together,” said Johnson.

Suddeth and Johnson have decided to put the evening to good use and help out another lifelong friend and her family, Beth Orth. 10% of the nights proceeds will be donated to:
Mike Orth Family First Adoption Fund.

Mike Orth is the father of 8 children, 6 biological and 2 adopted. He always put his family first. He developed a painful, mysterious muscle disorder and eventually became a stay-at-home dad. Even though he was in almost constant pain, he cared for his children and put their needs for love, support, and stability first.

Mike unexpectedly passed away in June of 2015. Beth, his wife of 20 years, and their 8 children have set up the Family First Adoption Fund in his memory to help loving parents give children a forever family.

Robin Johnson, Beth Orth and Michelle Suddeth were long-time soccer teammates for Bishop Carroll Catholic High School and competitive team – YASNEY.