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 and toadstool, 24th and Telegraph by jazz

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