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News Releases

January 17, 2017


SANTA ANA, Calif. - From January 17, 2017 – February 16, 2017, a series of pastel artworks by Laguna Niguel resident Ruth Kurisu will be on display at John Wayne Airport (JWA) as part of JWA’s Community Focus Space Program. These pastels can be viewed on the Departure (upper) Level near security screening areas in Terminals A, B and C, and on the Arrival (lower) Level adjacent to Baggage Carousels 1 and 4.

“Ruth Kurisu is an accomplished photographer and pastel artist whose work has been widely recognized and published,” said Board Chairwoman Michelle Steel. "Her pastels are inspired by Mother Nature, beautifully capturing the unique colors of the seasons and transporting the viewer into the landscape.”

Kurisu began painting in oils but in 2014 discovered the richness and vibrancy of pastels and now works exclusively in that medium. She layers brilliant colors on dark sanded papers to create depth and texture, using her own photographs as reference.

Aspen Elegance by Ruth Kurisu

Aspen Elegance by Ruth Kurisu

More images can be seen here.

“For me, being an artist is about the journey,” said Ms. Kurisu. “When you see my art, you see more than a pastel painting. You see hundreds of hours of experimentation and failure. You see a piece of my heart, a part of my soul and a moment in my life.”

Kurisu began her artistic journey as a photographer, studying with National Geographic photographer Chris Rainier and National Geographic Traveler Magazine editor Dan Westergren. Her photographs have been published by the International Library of Photography and Photographer’s Forum, Best of Photography. Ms. Kurisu began her formal study of painting 10 years ago, and since then she has achieved a growing list of juried exhibition acceptances and awards, has received international recognition with Light Space & Time Gallery, and is published in numerous exhibition catalogues. Ruth Kurisu is an exhibiting member of Anaheim Art Association, Orange County Fine Arts and Saddleback Art League.

Ruth Kurisu was born in the Northeast and moved to Southern California in the mid-1970s. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Ursinus College and an MBA from UCLA, spending nearly four decades in corporate America before pursuing her artistic passion. Please visit for more information about Ruth Kurisu’s work.

Upcoming Community Focus Space Program artists include Irena Carlson (February 16 – March 16) and Susan Fouts (March 16 – April 17).

To learn more about JWA's Art Programs, visit


John Wayne Airport (SNA) is owned by the County of Orange and is operated as a self-supporting enterprise that receives no general fund tax revenue. The Airport serves more than 10 million passengers annually and reaches more than 20 nonstop destinations in the United States, Canada and Mexico. More information can be found at Like us on, or follow us on Twitter @johnwayneair and Instagram @johnwayneair.