News Releases

November 5, 2009


SANTA ANA, Calif. - A new exhibition by Gary Simpson entitled "Commonground191" featuring artworks created from the soils of 38 United Nations countries will be on display in Terminal A of the Thomas F. Riley Terminal in the Vi Smith Concourse Gallery at John Wayne Airport (JWA) now through February 22, 2010.

On display are 14 paintings created with soil collected from 38 different countries, along with samples of the soils and information explaining the process of collection and importation. The exhibition at John Wayne Airport is a portion of a larger project Simpson began in 2002, also known as Study 14/38 in reference to the number of paintings made and the number of different countries represented. When complete, the full project will feature paintings created with the soil representing 192 countries.

"I take my medium and my inspiration from the Earth", says artist Gary Simpson. "I view my abstract art as expression of my relation to the Earth. As the geography of the earth changes so too do national boundaries. This project expresses for me the necessity of change and the unifying wisdom of the process."

'"Commonground' by Gary Simpson
One of the pieces from ‘Commonground191’ by Gary Simpson
now on display at John Wayne Airport.

Ticketed passengers who have passed through security will be able to view the display, which will be shown across from Gates 11 - 14 in Terminal A of the Thomas F. Riley Terminal. For more information on the Commonground191 project, please visit and for more information about JWA’s art program, visit

John Wayne Airport (SNA) is a self-supporting enterprise, owned and operated by the County of Orange, serves nearly nine million passengers annually and is governed by the five-member Orange County Board of Supervisors.