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Route 66 Paintings Featured in New Exhibit at John Wayne Airport

(SANTA ANA, CA) – Take a trip down memory lane through a new exhibit at John Wayne Airport featuring pastel paintings of the iconic landmarks and images of historic Route 66. The vibrant artwork of professional painter Ruth Kurisu is on display in the Thomas F. Riley Terminal as part of the JWA Community Focus Space through April 15, 2021.

Since 1926, driving down Route 66 has been an experience of a lifetime for travelers, adventurers, and dreamers alike, including Kurisu, who traversed through the “Mother Road” many times. She became inspired to create “Main Street America” to preserve its history and pay tribute to the individuals who created the iconic structures and continuously work to keep the highway’s culture alive.

“I have traveled down Route 66 several times over the years and witnessed both its decline, rebirth, and preservation as a living time capsule, and wanted to preserve this historical highway in my own way,” said Kurisu. “Painting is a voyage of discovery both of my subject and myself, and I invite you to join me on this visual journey.”

Kurisu began her artistic career as a photographer studying alongside several professional National Geographic photographers and having several of her photographs published in the International Library of Photography and Photographer’s Forum. Her formal study of painting began with classes at Mission: Renaissance Studio, where she discovered the richness and vibrancy of pastels. Her painting technique consists of layers of brilliant colors on dark sanded papers to create depth and texture using her photographs as reference.

Kurisu was recently juried into the Las Laguna Gallery in Laguna Beach and served as a former exhibiting member of the Brandon Gallery in Fallbrook. Her work hangs in galleries, office spaces, and private collections throughout Southern California. To learn more about Ruth Kurisu and view additional pieces of her artwork, visit

Kurisu’s exhibit may be viewed (pre-security) 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.

For more information about the John Wayne Airport Arts Program, visit