gnome and toadstool
photo CC-A from Our Oakland

The Oakland Gnomes are anonymously-painted gnomes on pieces of wood tacked to the bottom of utility poles throughout the City. There are over 2,300 gnomes painted on utility poles throughout Oakland. 2 In early 2013, the gnomes received a significant amount of press after being featured in the San Francisco Chronicle. 3 A few days after the SF Chronicle article appeared, The Associated Press (AP) picked up the story and identified the artist. 4

Although there was some question as to whether the gnomes would be allowed to remain on the utility poles, on 1/28/13, after intervention from City Council, PG&E agreed to let the gnomes remain on the utility poles. 2

Adams Point Gnome, 2013Adams Point gnome courtesy of greenkoziAdams Point gnome courtesy of greenkozi kilt-wearing gnome
photo CC-A from Our Oakland
photo by greenkozisecret indoor location gnome by gk

fire station #19 gnome and fire dog
photo CC SA-BY Our Oakland
CC SA-BY Our Oakland

rare and weathered Chinatown gnome. photo by greenkozi

this gardening skunk was spotted at Sausal Creek 4/14 Same artist or interloper? photo courtesy of TastyLatkes

Gnome and toadstool outside Fourth Street Lofts.

Gnome on Athol and Haddon, Getting some shade on a sunny evening

In 2020 following the outbreak of COVID-19, several new gnomes appeared in Adams Point featuring related themes like using video for calls. 5

CC SA-BY Our OaklandCC SA-BY Our OaklandCC SA-BY Our Oakland

Links and References

  1. PG&E: Gnomes can stay on Oakland utility poles KSBW News

  2. PG&E grants reprieve to Oakland's gnomes SFGate

  3. Painted gnomes bring smiles in Oakland SFGate

  4. California: A Win for the Little People New York Times/AP

  5. Remember those mysterious Oakland gnomes? A new batch of coronavirus-inspired characters are popping up KTVU April 16, 2020