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Exotic Locales Inspire Paintings in New Exhibit at John Wayne Airport

(SANTA ANA, CA) – Tropical locations, lush flora and exotic fauna inspire the newest paintings on exhibit at John Wayne Airport. Christy Sheehan infuses her art with bright colors that reflect the uniqueness and diversity of nature and cultures that she has encountered during her extensive travels. Examples of her distinct blend of abstract and photorealism styles of painting are showcased in the latest exhibition highlighting local artists. The artwork is displayed in the Thomas F. Riley Terminal as part of the JWA Community Focus Space through November 18, 2021.

Born in Los Angeles, California, Sheehan moved to Berthoud, Colorado at a young age and enjoyed the rural experience through drawing the nature and animals that surrounded her.

After graduating high school, Sheehan pursued her lifelong interest in fine art and accepted an incredible opportunity to study fine art in Benoni, South Africa through a Rotary International Youth Exchange program. Those memories, and her love of the animals and the culture that she experienced there, continue to inspire her creations today.

According to Sheehan, the pieces chosen specifically for this exhibit, range from the Hawaiian Islands to South Africa, South America, and the different regions of California that she has traveled. “The art chosen for this display reflects my love of travel and places I’ve been. My art is often inspired by the uniqueness, diversity, and nature I’ve encountered in my adventures. My goal as an artist is to take you to somewhere wonderful in your mind or in your past, whether it be a beautiful place, happy memory or capturing the raw emotion of a special moment in time. I love creating art that will bring you joy every day.”

In the past, Sheehan focused on other forms of art and admits that painting was not her preferred medium. Luckily, a friend saw her potential and requested she create a replication of a painting for her, offering a generous amount of money to "try." As a student putting herself through college waiting tables, Sheehan was keenly motivated and so began her journey to her work as an artist today.

Sheehan currently lives in South Orange County, California with her husband and two daughters and paints commissions of all kinds including landscapes, animals and portraits. For more information about the artist, please visit her website at

Sheehan’s art is viewable (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.

Visit our Arts Program page for more information.