Natural Beauty of North America Captured on Film

(SANTA ANA, CA) – Photographs of gorgeous horizons, natural rock formations, and windswept landscapes provide a window to the tranquil beauty of nature in the current Community Focus Space exhibit at John Wayne Airport. Photographer James J. Burke searches out areas of nature untouched by humans and captures the serenity of remote, untamed environments in his art. Get transported to the natural beauty of the great outdoors with this breathtaking exhibit on display in the Thomas F. Riley Terminal beginning March 17, 2022, through April 19, 2022.

Born in Newport Beach, CA, Burke remembers a childhood surrounded by the beauty of the outdoors and playing in the colorful, fragrant orange groves of North Orange County. Inspired by the clever advertising he saw on television, he focused his subsequent education on business and marketing. His introduction to black and white photography began in college, but the arts took a back seat to his studies. He went on to earn his Bachelor’s Degree from California State University, Fullerton, in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing.

Drawing on his strong foundation in strategic planning and creativity, Burke founded an advertising agency at 29. Burke and Associates, Inc. served a long list of well-known clients for two decades. Throughout his professional experience, Burke worked with artists, illustrators, and photographers, which allowed him an outlet for creativity in his everyday work.

An invitation from his in-laws to a workshop given by John Sexton, a protégé of Ansel Adams, reignited Burke’s interest in photography as art. John’s inspirational teaching of Adams’ zone development system changed how James looked at light forever. Later, a trip to Italy inspired him to pick up a camera, and he never put it down.

According to the artist, “Seeking to create great photography inspires my life. Each adventure-filled-day requires planning, dedication, travel, hiking, and carrying a great deal of photography equipment. We take advantage of the soft light of the “golden hours” to capture nature’s beauty in its most inspiring moments [and] whisk the viewer away from their busy lives and ‘bring them along on our adventures’ to share a portion of the beauty we experience.”

Married with two grown children and one grandchild, Burke now builds his portfolio and markets his art full time. He has volunteered his photography to Alzheimer’s Association and JDRF since 2005 and is the founder/co-founder of two Facebook-based photography groups with hundreds of members. His photography has been recognized internationally by photography groups including “Noir, Best of the Club of Black and White Photography”. You can view more of his work on his website

The exhibit is 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