Like us on Facebook

For inquiries, contact:

Deanne Thompson
Manager, Public Relations/PIO

News Releases

February 21, 2017


SANTA ANA, Calif. - From February 16, 2017 - March 16, 2017, a series of intuitive paintings inspired by the Runes, the ancient Nordic alphabet of archetypal symbols, and Tibetan Buddhist concepts by visual artist and writer Irena Carlson, will be on display at John Wayne Airport (JWA) as part of JWA's Community Focus Space Program (CFS). These works 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.

"Irena Carlson's talent as an artist is the style in which she frequently contrasts unconventional and surprising elements together," said Board Chairwoman Michelle Steel. "This installation at John Wayne Airport provides a distinctive opportunity for the public to enjoy these unique works that incorporate bridging realism to abstraction."

This series of large paintings have Runes embedded in planetary bodies and were inspired by long walks through nature. Carlson hopes that some of the intuitive energy surrounding these Runes will be passed on to the viewer.

Fehu-Heart of Power by Irena Carlson

Fehu-Heart of Power by Irena Carlson

More images can be seen here.

Carlson is a visual artist who primarily uses photography, painting and collage for her creative visual works. She believes that a playful means of expression is essential to her work, creating it through multi-media inclusion of photograms, the Holga (toy) camera, photographic collage, drawing, painting on photographs, hand tinting, cyanotypes and sun prints.

"In my artwork, I sometimes feel I am creating a magical world from the inside out. I tend to look at the positive and the bright because I enjoy that. I like creating things about light and the interplay of the colors themselves - of the paint and its variation in texture."

Carlson grew up in Tustin, California, and art was a deep love from the start. She studied art at the University of California, Irvine, and photography at Los Angeles City College. Graduate studies in Writing and Fine Art were completed at Eastern Michigan University. Living in Turkey, France and later New Zealand contributed important influences to her creative work. She has written numerous stories published by the Travelers' Tales series of books. Her photography and paintings have been exhibited in Los Angeles, Michigan and Wisconsin in both solo and group shows.

Please visit for more information about Irena Carlson's work.

Upcoming Community Focus Space Program artists include Susan Fouts (March 16 - April 17) and Richelle Gribble (April 17 - May 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.