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News Releases

November 9, 2017

Historic Aerial Photography of Newport Center/Fashion Island Exhibit Opens at John Wayne Airport

SANTA ANA, Calif. - "The Aerial Photography History of Newport Center/Fashion Island” exhibit is on display at John Wayne Airport's ORANGE COUNTY: Destination Art & Culture exhibition space through June 2018. Featured as part of John Wayne Airport's (JWA) Arts Program, the exhibit may be viewed pre-security along the pedestrian walkway connecting Riley Terminals B and C.

Fred L. Emmert and Richard N. Frost, co-authors of the book, “Newport Beach, California, Newport Center | Fashion Island, 50 Years in the Making” arranged the exhibit which will transport guests through a visual journey recollecting the 50-year history of Newport Center/Fashion Island.

"This exhibit chronicles an important segment of Newport Beach and Orange County history; capturing the transformation of the Fashion Island area from open space to a prominent center of business and entertainment," said Board Chairwoman Michelle Steel. "I encourage John Wayne Airport guests to view this unique reflection of history from an aerial perspective."

This chronological aerial photography exhibit begins with an Orange County archive image from July of 1953 detailing the site of the Third National Boy Scout Jamboree, which is now the location of Newport Center/Fashion Island. The subsequent images are a progression of the planning, design and development of the Newport Center/ Fashion Island area from 1961 until January 2017. Each aerial image from the exhibit provides a different perspective, by identifying the direction the photograph was taken.

Newport Center | Fashion Island (June 14, 1968, North)

Newport Center | Fashion Island by Fred L. Emmert and Richard N. Frost

More images can be seen here.

To enhance the exhibit, the photographic images were printed on wood. The wood canvas was carefully selected to ensure that the images aesthetically blend with the wood’s natural patterns and characteristics. The ink is infused into the wood with a 10-step printing process, resulting in colors that remain vibrant while allowing the wood grain to show through the image.

Fred L. Emmert is a commercial rated pilot with CFI-I Certified Flight Instructor-Instrument endorsement. Fred’s professional designations include Master Aerial Photographer from the Professional Aerial Photographers Association International and a Lifetime Achievement Award. He is especially proud of his work being accepted into the collections at the United States Golf Association and the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Richard N. Frost was a co-founder of Frost Trinen Partners in 1974. The firm specialized in leasing large office projects and the sale of a number of the highest valued parcels for development in the Orange County airport area. Frost recognized the benefit of projecting future growth trends of properties and developments based on past trends employing aerial photography to visually communicate his unique perspective.

Special thanks to WoodSnap for sponsoring the exhibit and printing all of the images on wood panels. Visit for more information.

To learn more about JWA's Art Programs, visit


John Wayne Airport (SNA) is owned by the County of Orange and is operated as a self-supporting enterprise that receives no general fund tax revenue. The Airport serves more than 10 million passengers annually and reaches more than 20 nonstop destinations in the United States, Canada and Mexico. More information can be found at Like us on, or follow us on Twitter @johnwayneair and Instagram @johnwayneair.