The Light Inside

(SANTA ANA, CA) – From June 15 through July 13, 2023, the John Wayne Airport Arts Program will feature a collection of intimate portraiture by artist and teacher William Wilkerson. Working in a variety of mediums, Wilkerson beautifully captures the inherent light and positivity within each of his subjects.

His current series of paintings and drawings aim to address the influence of our inner thoughts and attitudes on the milieu of social climate and modern-day culture. Heavily revolving around the concept of light, as an idea both revelatory and guiding, his work seeks to chase away darkness and facilitate the growth of wisdom and awareness.

After over thirty years of teaching in Orange County public schools, Wilkerson has long seen the very best in his students and sought to inspire them to realize their full potential. His artistic practice mirrors his life’s work by imploring his viewers to utilize compassion and empathy in everyday life. 

An accomplished author, Wilkerson has also illustrated and published several books, including the children’s book, The Light in My Room.

“The illustrations in this book are a series of color pencil drawings centered around the embodiment and cultivation of positive character attributes, intended to invoke the elements of greatness existing within each of us. The Light in My Room attempts to amplify the positive effects of the LIGHT we possess both internally and externally. The goal was to enhance the enlightenment of the viewer, while countering the virulent influences of darkness and negativity,” says Wilkerson.

Though Wilkerson was classically trained, attending art school at Atlanta College of Art (now the Savannah College of Art), and has historically used mediums including oil paint and colored pencil, he has recently begun exploring the exciting new possibilities of digital painting to tell visual stories. This eclectic mix of artistic styles, techniques, and subject matter across his artistic career has allowed him to respond creatively to the infinite spectrum of human emotions and experiences.

To find out more about Wilkerson and see more of his work, visit

The entire collection of work is viewable pre-security. Paintings span from the upper Departure Level near security in Terminals A, B, and C and on the lower Arrivals Level by Baggage Carousels 2 and 4.

For more information about the John Wayne Airport Arts Program,