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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 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

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