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Spontaneous Art of Street Photography on Display at John Wayne Airport

(SANTA ANA, CA) – Artist Sandra Chen-Weinstein brings her creative artwork to John Wayne Airport in a new exhibit featuring street-style documentary photography emphasizing social identity and culture. Her work is displayed in the Thomas F. Riley Terminal as part of the JWA Community Focus Space through August 19, 2021.

As a self-taught documentary and fine art photographer inspired by Sebastião Salgado and Magnum Photos (street style photography focusing on not only what is seen, but how the photographer sees it, often an unadulterated way of capturing people's daily lives), Chen-Weinstein's work emphasizes the human condition in social identity, culture, and diversity. She has dedicated long-term projects on the lives of women, LGBTQIA, minorities, and American pop culture.

During a Catalyst Interview in November 2020, Chen-Weinstein stated, "Documentary photography to me means documenting the truth, the reality of a moment in time with precision of what you want to say visually. I have always been interested in the human condition – people, diversity, social and racial subjects. My previous work with the Foreign Services overseas and living in different countries may have informed my passion in humanity."

While working for the Foreign Services, Chen-Weinstein lived in multiple locations, including Washington DC, Japan, China, Taiwan, and Canada. She taught Mandarin in college and studied ceramic art while living in Japan, and upon returning to Southern California, she started using photography as her medium of art. She had the opportunity to work for Eli Reed, master photographer of Magnum Photos, and participate in an expedition to India with renowned photographer Steve McCurry (known for his photo of Afghan Girl, which appeared on the cover of National Geographic).

Chen-Weinstein has received numerous distinguished awards, including the CENTER Director's Choice Award, National Geographic Magazine International contest winner for the People & Reader's Choice Collection, and was first prize recipient in the Open Category Kuala Lumpur International Photo Awards, to name a few. Her artwork is exhibited in the Aperture Gallery in NYC, Annenberg Space of Photography, Asian Art Museum, Griffin Museum, and several private collections. To learn more about Sanda Chen-Weinsten and view additional pieces of her work, visit

Chen-Weinstein'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