Award Winning Fashion Designer Turned Artist on Display at John Wayne Airport, CA

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Abstract Expressionist Nina K. has a new vibrant collection of oil paintings on display for a limited time at the John Wayne Airport in Santa Anna, California.

Thursday, May 14 through June 15, 2015 the collection of paintings from Orange County artist Nina K. Cullen will be on display in the Thomas F. Riley Terminal as part of John Wayne Airport’s Community Focus Space Program. Award-winning fashion designer turned artist, Nina K. will have an exclusive selection of oil paintings from her “PASSION” collection on the departure (upper) level, near the security screening areas.

About Nina: Nina Kolarek–Cullen was born in Croatia. As a child she always considered fashion and art to be the same. Knowing her destiny, she focused her studies in both Switzerland and London at the American College of Design, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. While still in school, her fashion illustrations were featured in London’s trendy fashion publications.

After completing her studies, she moved to New York and started her clothing line “Nina K,” which won the “Rising Star Award” from the National Fashion Association. This launched her label, and Nina K. fashions headed to fine stores from coast to coast.

Her line was featured in leading fashion magazine layouts and articles for Vogue, Elle, WWD, et al. Her creations appeared in numerous films, TV episodes on ABC, MTV, FOX, CNN, and were worn on-air by newscasters and hosts such as Lisa Gibbons and Mary Hart (“Entertainment Tonight”) on a regular basis.

The energy and fast pace of the fashion business was exciting for Nina, but after reaching success and recognition, she decided to take a different path and to pursue her first passion; Art. She moved to tranquil Orange County in 2008 and turned her creative energy back to oil paintings full-time.

Nina’s current work, “PASSION” is a vibrant collection of oil paintings inspired by the kaleidoscope of colors found in nature. Vivid blue skies, turquoise oceans and majestic red-orange sunsets are patiently applied with a small pallet knife in a cascading format.

She developed her own method by creating a complicated pixel technique, which allows her to express her love for design and texture. These colorful paintings have been coined “Nina K Pixel Paintings.” Each piece is uniquely different, yet they collectively portray a harmonious balance.

Nina’s work has been successfully exhibited in Laguna Beach and other galleries, along with many juried art shows and numerous private collections across the country.

Nina is also passionate about promoting art for kids and has a strong philanthropic side, and regularly donates paintings for causes such as “Families Forward” in Orange County. This summer while on exhibit at the Art-A-Fair in Laguna Beach, she will be donating two pieces from her collection, which will be auctioned off to raise funds for the Laguna College of Art + Design (LCAD) and Art-A-Fair programs that promote and provide art supplies for young artists. For more information about Nina K or to view images from the JWA exhibit visit

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To learn more about John Wayne Airport’s art program, visit

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Gina Waggener
since: 03/2015
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