Mystery gnomer spreads cheer, whimsy with gnome paintings

Mystery gnomer spreads cheer, whimsy with gnome paintings

MEDICINE PARK, OK (KSWO) -Tiny gnomes are slowly taking over the power poles of Southwest Oklahoma.

The little gnomes have been spotted everywhere from Lawton to Duncan to Medicine Park. The gnomes are screwed into the bottom of power poles and come in several colors and varieties. It has remained a mystery as to where the gnomes actually come from since they were first spotted in Lawton during November 2015.

Going into the day, the origins of the gnomes were un-gnome to everyone. It was a fun task to find the person responsible gnome matter what.

Travis McBride owns a bar in Medicine Park and says he first noticed the gnomes during the middle December 2015. He says about a month later, a stranger walked in and asked if he could put another gnome on a power pole on his property. McBride naturally had some hesitation.

"Well you don't look like you're from the power company or anything, what's going on? Then that's when he pulled out the little gnome and I was like 'you're that guy!' You know, he was like 'did you like the ones I put out front?' And I was like 'yea, people love them, that's so awesome,'" McBride recalled.

While we now gnome who the mystery gnomer is, he wishes to remain anonymous to the public. Ultimately, he just wants the public to gnome that he had a very simple reason for placing the gnomes.

"The reason? Just to make people stop, ponder and smile and appreciate life a little more. Imagine if we all just donated an hour a week of our time to do something better for our fellow Oklahomans," said the mystery gnomer.

So far, there are gnomes in Ardmore, on Campus Corner in Norman, Duncan, Lawton, Wichita Falls and Medicine Park. The artist says he got started with the gnomes while living in Oakland, California, where he has placed more than 7,000 gnomes.

"When I very first started doing them in Oakland, there was an elementary school across the street from me and I put a few out, and this was the first 10 that I put out, but I would actually hear the school kids walking home with their parents every afternoon and telling their parents the stories of the gnomes. They had named them, they had claimed them and that was the encouragement from the beginning," he said.

He says after about two years in Oakland something happened that made him realize what he was doing was good for the community.

"The local utility company noticed them and wanted me to take them down and the community of Oakland as a whole came up and protested and said 'no, this is part of our community,'" he explained.

The mystery gnomer says it absolutely warms his heart to gnome that people are enjoying the gnomes.

The artist says he plans on finishing putting gnomes up in downtown Duncan before heading to Guthrie to put some up.

You can see more of the gnomes around Medicine Park here. You can also follow the mystery gnomer on his Facebook page.

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