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Nicole Hall
Senior Communications Specialist

T: 619.400.2859
M: 858.531.2863

After hours and weekends please email or call the Airport Communications Center at 858.531.2863

MetroGnomes Dynamic Sculpture Wins National Award

Americans for the Arts Recognizes Airport Rental Car Center Public Art Project

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

SAN DIEGO – June 27, 2017 – San Diego International Airport’s MetroGnomes art piece has been honored by the Public Art Network Year in Review program, the only national program that specifically recognizes compelling public art.

Chosen by a jury from 325 entries representing communities across the country, MetroGnomes was one of 49 winning projects unveiled at the recent Americans for the Arts’ 2017 Annual Convention in San Francisco.

“San Diego International Airport views public art as a critical component of our mission to provide an enjoyable, uniquely San Diego experience for the traveling public,” said Kimberly J. Becker, the airport’s President/CEO. “I am thrilled that SAN’s commitment to public art is receiving this wonderful and well-deserved national recognition.”

MetroGnomes, commissioned in 2016 for the airport’s Rental Car Center, was created by artist Christian Moeller. The piece is uniquely situated at the intersection of many modes of transportation. The sense of constant motion that surrounds the site inspired the artist to create a work to reflect this busy hub of activity.

Using an internal pivot mechanism developed by the oldest clock maker in Europe, the piece is comprised of two wand-like kinetic sculptures that perpetually tick and tock in slow, graceful movements. The abstract form of the sculptures is evocative of varied objects, but for Moeller, it is most reminiscent of his childhood in Germany and the tradition of garden gnomes placed in front of yards.

“These selected works reflect the incredible diversity of public art projects, including temporary to permanent, sculpture to performance art,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “The innovation of work demonstrated in the Public Art Network Year in Review shows the breadth of talent from artists around the country. I congratulate them and their commissioning groups for these community treasures.”

The artworks selected for the Public Art Network Year in Review can be seen on this page.

In addition to public art, the Airport Arts Program includes temporary exhibitions and performing arts components, aimed at engaging travelers and creating an ambiance unique to the culture of San Diego. For more information about the Airport Arts Program, visit


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