Plein Air Art Captures Iconic Southern California Locations

(SANTA ANA, CA) – Lifelong memories of outdoor adventures and explorations immersed in nature inspire Monica Edwards’ art. Picturesque florals and serene coastal scenes in the Plein air style, the practice of painting an entire finished picture out of doors, will be on display from January 20, 2022, through February 17, 2022, as part of the most recent JWA Community Focus Space exhibit in the Thomas F. Riley Terminal.

A native of Argentina, Edwards immigrated to the United States in 1965 with her family. Her parents, both physicians, traveled the country, living in Colorado, Wyoming, Florida, and California. From an early age, her parents gave her experiences in the outdoors; she remembers skiing at four years old, scuba diving at 12 and, as an adult, jumping off cliffs and paragliding.

After four years of pre-med in college, Edwards realized her heart belonged to the field of art. She pursued this new direction and graduated with a BFA in Biological Illustration from California State University, Long Beach. After graduating, she enjoyed a successful career at the Orange County Register as a visual journalist, earning a Pulitzer Prize nomination for her illustrated work in Environmental Journalism.  

In addition to having taught Visual Journalism at California State University, Long Beach, Edwards continues to lead Plein air painting groups as a docent with land and nature conservancies, giving painting tours and assisting people in connecting to art and nature. She exhibits at the Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach during the summers, relating to her community through art.

Today, her work is on display at various Southern California art festivals, in her gallery, and on the walls of marine and paleontological museums. She continues to work as a freelance infographics artist. More information about the artist is on her website at

Edwards is pleased to be chosen as a featured artist, saying, “I’m honored to have been invited to exhibit some of my paintings at John Wayne Airport. There is a thriving arts community in Orange County, and the JWA Arts program has a beautiful exhibition area for visitors to enjoy. Next time you’re traveling through, take a moment to browse some of the local artists’ work.”

This curated show with the John Wayne Airport Arts Program exhibits her botanical work and Plein air art that captures iconic Southern California locations. Selections are viewable (pre-security) on the Departure (upper) Level near security screening areas in Terminals A, B, and C and the Arrival (lower) Level adjacent to Baggage Carousels 1 and 4.

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