Andre the Gnome (aka, “Andy”) is a nearly 10-foot tall garden gnome that hails from Jefferson City, near Columbia, Missouri.
Carved from styrofoam with a two-part epoxy top-coating, Andre the Gnome is the creation of artist Stephen R. Feilbach who likes to transport his gnome in his green pick up truck around Missouri and points beyond in the spirit of the Roaming Gnome from Travelocity.
On the sides and back of the pickup truck, Feilbach places the message: “Facebook Page: Gnome Nation.”
The mission of Gnome Nation is to spread joy and help release gnomes so that they may roam free again. According to his website presence “every time his Facebook page gets a ‘like’ a gnome gets their wings.”
Andre the Gnome made his debut June 13 at a family get-together. Since then, he’s been to many places and parties and traveled across more than 1,000 miles in Mid-Missouri. Feilbach’s obsession with gnomes began when he carved his very first gnome from a stump on a lawn in California.
In October of 2014, Feilbach’s 100-pound figurine of Andy the Gnome appeared in the Kaufmann Stadium parking lot at both games of the World Series against the Kansas City Royals and the San
Francisco Giants. Andy’s normal red cap was painted blue so that he could be turned into the World Series victory gnome. Andy predicted that Royals would win.
Earlier that year, Andre the Gnome served as master of ceremonies at the Third Annual Gnome Olympics in Columbia.
Andy the gnome is one of 10 gnomes Feilbach created at his studio, the others being carved out of wood with a chainsaw. One of them is a 4-foot gnome called Knotty.
“I’ve done a bunch of them that are chainsaw carvings, they’re anywhere from 18 inches tall to about six foot, and they got too heavy to move,” Feilbach said.
Besides gnomes, Feilbach creates objects in all mediums, from rock carving to metal sculpture to painting murals.
It is Feilbach’s dream to place a bunch of gnomes along Interstate 70 so people can find them, share their story on the Gnome Nation Facebook page, spread joy and help Gnome Nation grow.
“When it comes to creativity, says Feilbach, “It’s all about being and never losing that kid inside you. I’m a big 5-year-old.”
NOTE: The website for the podiobook “The Gnome and Mrs. Meyer: A modern fairy tale” by Susan Klein allows visitors to “Join the Gnome Nation” and receive a certificate.
Andre the Gnome
c/o Stephen Feilbach, Gnome Nation
Jefferson City, Missouri