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News Releases

July 19, 2017


SANTA ANA, Calif. – From July 18, 2017 – August 17, 2017, a series of photographs inspired by Tom Griffithe’s time as a track photographer for the Vintage Auto Racing Association (VARA), 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.

“Through his use of vivid colors and creative digital imagery, Mr. Griffithe portrays the energy in its most visceral form,” said Board Chairwoman Michelle Steel. “John Wayne Airport guests are fortunate to be able to see this exhibit’s thrilling vitality.”

Initially, most of Mr. Griffithe’s race photos were pure unabridged photography. Through the use of creative plug-ins, the drama and visual excitement for this exhibit is heightened. Some of the race cars are posed resembling sculptures and yet others demonstrate pure grit.

Feeling the G's by Tom Griffithe

Feeling the G’s by Tom Griffithe

More images can be seen here.

Griffithe is a visual artist who uses photography with innovative digital tools to enhance the visual works while maintaining artist/photographer control. Of all of his photography experiences, shooting auto racing is his most exciting. From the roaring header exhaust to the smell of the fuel – capturing the color, energy and competitive atmosphere was essential. “My array of subjects tends to be eclectic but I do have a passion for the earthy or gritty. I love subject matter that is aged. They speak to me of two purposes, first the initial form and usefulness and second, its artistic display, almost a metamorphosis.”

Mr. Griffithe is a retired graphic design manager and a graduate of California State University, Long Beach Art Department. Mr. Griffithe has exhibited and won awards at the Hubbard Museum of the West, New Mexico, the Orange County Fair, and multiple Photographic Society of America International Salons. He has been featured in several publications such as the California Coastal Commission’s Beaches and Parks in Southern California, Anaheim Magazine, OC The Place, the Humane Society’s All Animals, and The Orange County Register. As a member of the Orange County Fine Art Association, he exhibited at the Showcase Gallery in Costa Mesa and the Avante Garden Gallery in Santa Ana. VARA awarded Griffithe with their Jolly Award for vintage auto racing photograph excellence. The automobile racing magazine Victory Lane published a feature article about the photographer and has published other articles written by the photographer with his contributing photographs. The most recent was an article about the restoration of a 1981 Indy race car in the May 2017 issue.

Please visit for more information about Tom Griffithe’s work.

Upcoming Community Focus Space Program artists include Joshua Madrid (August 17 – September 18) and Gene Swanson (September 18 – October 18).

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.