Skip to main content

“Symbology” Exhibition Opens at John Wayne Airport

(SANTA ANA, CA) – Opening March 29, 2024, “Symbology” is a group exhibition featuring six Southern California-based Latinx artists Abby Aceves, John Flores, Dani Garcia, Amanda Kazemi, Ivan Virgen, and Jaime Zacarias (aka Germs).  Through the integration of pattern, color, iconography, and metaphor, these artists delve into tradition. They infuse their work with cultural richness and compelling visual narratives. Within this exhibition, viewers will find surrealist paintings, hyperrealistic drawings, and intricately crafted ceramic sculptures.

Abby Aceves and John Flores explore the interconnectedness between humanity and nature. The duo provides a profound glimpse into the indigenous perspective, capturing concepts of harmony, balance, and the sacredness characteristic of the natural world. 

About her overall artistic practice, Abby shares, “Using figurative elements, symbols, color, texture, and composition, I employ these elements as a language to convey contemporary Mexican culture, a primary source of inspiration. Each character within my mysterious narratives possesses a full and complex personality.”

Jaime Zacarias, a painter based in Orange County, is renowned for his highly stylized Luchador creatures. In his works, alien-like figures are surrounded by iconic elements of Mexican culture and Southern California life, such as the Dodgers logo, low riders, and the Virgen de Guadalupe. In recent years, Cheech Marin, actor, comedian, and founder of the Cheech Center in Riverside, CA, has been one of Zacarias’ main collectors and collaborators. 

Recent Laguna Center of Art and Design (LCAD) Master of Fine Arts (MFA) graduate Amanda Kazemi has seven large-scale drawings featured in the exhibition. Utilizing animals to tell whimsical tales of lessons and life experiences, Kazemi taps into and honors her Mexican and Iranian roots. Filled with regalia and personal mementos, these illustrative works are inspired by Aesop’s Fables, her favorite childhood stories.

Coming together for this exhibition, this powerful group of artists weaves representational tapestries of heritage, community, and self, inviting viewers to read between the lines and find the common threads.

This exhibition will be on view until July 22, 2024. It can be found post-security in the Terminal A Vi Smith Gallery, between Gates 1 and 4, as well as the sculpture gallery in Terminal B. Anyone from the public without a boarding pass can obtain an OCAirPass to visit the exhibition. 

For more information about the John Wayne Airport Arts Program, 
contact Curator Heather Bowling at