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XO: Mayor, Airport Director Dedicate New Public Art Sculpture at SJC

March 9, 2023

SJC Media Relations: Keonnis Taylor, Public Information Manager | 408.392.1199 |
Office of Mayor Matt Mahan: Rachel Davis, Chief Communications Officer | 408.712.9149 |
Office of Economic Development and Cultural Affairs: Carlos Velazquez, Public Information Manager | 408.535.8168 |

XO: Mayor, Airport Director Dedicate New Public Art Sculpture at SJC

A love letter to San José by Bay Area artists welcomes travelers


San José, Calif. – City officials, Airport staff, and travelers at San José Mineta International Airport (SJC) converge this morning near the entrance of Terminal B for a celebration characterized by “hugs and kisses.”  The City’s newest public art installation at SJC, titled “XO,” will be dedicated during a public ceremony that includes free professional photos in front of the piece. "XO" is the latest in a long history of partnership between the Airport and the City’s Office of Economic Development and Cultural Affairs' Public Art Program.

Today’s public dedication event takes place in front of the sculpture at noon, with remarks by Mayor Mahan; Councilmember Omar Torres; Airport Director, John Aitken; the City’s Director of Economic Development and Cultural Affairs, Nanci Klein; along with the artists and other City officials. Free portraits by professional photographer Dave Lepori will be offered and printed on the spot between 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Photographs will be taken on a first-come basis.

Mayor Matt Mahan said, “First impressions matter and San José Mineta International Airport is the entry point that sets the tone for our entire city. I can’t think of a better way to bid our residents farewell and welcome our visitors to the capital of Silicon Valley than with this heartfelt message.”

Airport Director, John Aitken, said, “Today’s dedication exemplifies the Airport’s commitment to supporting our local culture and uplifting the talents of Bay Area artists. It is the perfect message and sentiment from the Airport to our beloved community and each person who visits SJC.”

The sculpture, created by Bay Area artists Laura Kimpton and Jeff Schomberg, is composed of 12-foot-tall aluminum letters, perforated with bird cutouts. The birds, a key aspect of artists’ work, are visual symbols for flight and safe air travel. Together, the letters “X” and “O” stand as a contemporary expression representing a “hug” and a “kiss;” a lighthearted way of sharing affection, sincerity, and friendship. At night, the sculpture is illuminated internally with changing colors.

Director of Cultural Affairs Kerry Adams Hapner said, “XO is the latest addition to the world-class collection of iconic public art at SJC. It is the City’s gift of affection and care for its residents and visitors. It is beautiful by day and night with its dynamic spectrum of illuminated colors. It is a wonderful complement to the other welcoming artwork at the airport, like Hands.” Artists Ms. Kimpton and Mr. Schomberg said about the artwork, “We offer this sculpture as a love letter to the San José community. As people travel through the airport, we hope they take the time pose with XO and memorialize their journey with a photograph.”

Easily accessible at the terminal curbside, XO draws travelers' attention with the opportunity for an iconic photo to mark the start or end of their journey in San José.

About the City of San José
With more than one million residents, San José is one of the most diverse large cities in the United States and is Northern California’s largest city and the 10th largest city in the nation. San José’s transformation into a global innovation center has resulted in one of the largest concentrations of technology companies and expertise in the world. In 2011, the City adopted Envision San José 2040, a long-term growth plan that sets forth a vision and a comprehensive road map to guide the City’s anticipated growth through the year 2040.

About San José Mineta International Airport (SJC): Fly Simple.
Fueled by a culture of innovation, San José Mineta International Airport (SJC) is the Bay Area's easiest and most dependable airport due to its medium size, simple layout, temperate climate, and inland location. Just minutes from downtown San José, SJC is a convenient gateway to Northern California and the Silicon Valley region, providing nonstop service across North America and to Europe and Asia. SJC is a self‐supporting enterprise owned and operated by the City of San José. For more airport information, visit Connect with SJC on social media at

About the City of San José Office of Cultural Affairs
The Office of Cultural Affairs is the City’s lead agency for supporting and promoting the development of a rich arts and cultural environment for this diverse city's one million residents, its workers who live in neighboring communities, and its many visitors. It fosters cultural development through cultural funding programs, cultural workforce development, specials event services, and public art. For more information, visit

About the artists, Laura Kimpton and Jeff Schomberg
Laura Kimpton is the conceptual force behind the Monumental Word Series that began back in 2009 at the annual Burning Man art event in Nevada. Works have been displayed at the Sundance Film Festival, the TED Conference, and auctioned at Sotheby’s. Most recently her sculpture, XO, was installed as part of the Smithsonian show celebrating the art and craft of Burning Man. Jeff Schomberg has collaborated with Laura in building and installing her revolutionary conceptual designs. Leveraging keen fire art skills, his unique style incorporates welded steel, stone and found objects. Schomberg has been the lead builder on Kimpton’s Monumental Word series.


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