July 05, 2012

News Release

For Immediate Release

City Learns Downtown Sculpture's Name, Unique Purpose

Department of Public Works plans to tumble The Tumbler

public works staff reposition a large, modern art sculpture

City of Springfield assistant public works director Jonathan Gano unearthed a few surprises when he was doing research on Park Central Square for an award write-up a few months ago.

Hoping to find out if the large, brown steel structure on the square had a name, he tracked down the artwork's sculptor, Aris Demetrios, after locating information from news accounts.

Gano obtained an email address and said within five minutes, the 81-year-old Demetrios answered from an iPhone in Montecito, Calif.

"I was shocked to get an answer so quickly. Not only did I find out the name of the piece was The Tumbler, but I also found out it was named that because it was supposed to be re-oriented every season, so in effect, you have a new piece of art."

The Tumbler was installed on the square in 1971 and is regarded as Springfield's first piece of modern art. It hadn't been rotated as planned by the original sculptor until this year, but Gano says the City's Public Works department plans to make its next rotation this fall. "It inspired a lot of commentary, conversation and even a little bit of controversy when it arrived," Gano says of the history he uncovered.

Creation of the Tumbler was funded by an arts patron identified as "Mrs. Monroe Swyers" who reportedly donated $15,000 which Demetrios says barely covered the cost of steel to make it.

City of Springfield Public Information Office staff decided to feature the story in time for July's Art Walk and hopes Springfieldians will give The Tumbler a second look this weekend after hearing more about its history.

To view the story video and complete interview with sculpture Demetrios, visit http://cityview.springfieldmo.gov/media/the-tumbler-on-park-central-square.

For more information, contact: Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, 417-864-1009 (office) | 417-380-3352 (cell), cscott@springfieldmo.gov

About Aris Demetrios

Aris Demetrios has numerous works of public art on display in prominent locations around the world, including Bataan Memorial on Corregidor Island in Philippines, the 92' Wind Harp in South San Francisco, the 80' sculpture Cosmos and the fountain Peirine in New York.

city of springfield

Department of Public Works

840 Boonville Avenue • P.O. Box 8368 • Springfield, MO 65801
417-864-1900 • springfieldmo.gov