OC Day Tripper

By Ellen Bell

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John Wayne Airport: Art is in the Air


Travel isn’t only about reaching your destination, it’s about the lovely things you see along the way.

Ever since it opened its doors to the public in 1990, The John Wayne Airport has worked to create an enriching travel experience.

“For 20 years, John Wayne Airport has professionally presented world-class art exhibitions that have engaged and entertained millions of visitors,” said airport spokesperson Jenny Wedge. “Art brings an unexpected sense of peace and calm to passengers traveling through this hub of activity.”

OC Day Tripper Art at John Wayne Airport

Security measures keep many of the exhibits behind TSA lines where only ticketed passengers can enjoy them. Currently, a collection of original work by award winning illustrator’s of children’s books are on display in the Vi Smith Concourse Gallery.





This exhibit from the Chemer’s Gallery in Tustin, features the work of artists such as Mary GrandPre of the Harry Potter books and Robin Preiss Glasser, creator of the Fancy Nancy series.

This collection will be on display until June 17, 2013.





There are also art exhibits throughout the airport that are accessible to the public without an airplane ticket.

In fact, enjoying art at John Wayne can be as simple as looking up.

“Flight of Ideas” is the name of the large, sculptural art piece above the baggage carousel in Terminal C. The sculpture hovers over the terminal like a flock of 21 aluminum birds with Plexiglas wings made of colorful aeronautical charts.

Since John Wayne Airport welcomes travelers to Orange County, it is the perfect place to highlight local artwork. In 2011, the airport opened a new exhibition space titled: ORANGE COUNTY: Destination Art and Culture.

Now the millions of passengers who travel through the airport each year can get a glimpse of Orange County’s art and cultural organizations like the Bowers Museum of Santa Ana or the Muckenthaler Cultural Center in Fullerton.

Currently, John Wayne Airport is issuing a call to local artists to be part of next year’s Community Focus Exhibits. These solo-style exhibits will feature Orange County-related visual artists and will be viewable by the general public, before the security checkpoints.

Artist Applications must be received no later than May 15, 2013 and instructions can be found on the John Wayne Airport Website.




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