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City of Springfield News Releases (General)

Posted on: June 16, 2020

Square sculpture to be tumbled Thursday, June 18 in honor of Tom Billionis

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The public is invited to a special summertime rotation of the Park Central Square sculpture, the Tumbler, at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, June 18.

This is a unique tumble for Public Works crews as this quarterly event coincides with the fourth annual Tumble for SGF event, hosted by the Coffee Ethic. The event honors the life of late Coffee Ethic owner Tom Billionis while raising money for a cause. This year, all proceeds raised on June 18 will be donated to Springfield NAACP.

“The Tumbler Sculpture is rotated every season and represents a new beginning while giving us all a different perspective,” reads the Coffee Ethic event promotions. “It’s time for a change in our world, and we look forward to listening and learning more about inequality, injustice, and racism.” 

Billionis, a passionate supporter of downtown Springfield business development, was a fan of the Tumbler.

“Tom was really excited when we discovered the sculpture is supposed to be tumbled every season,” said Public Works Assistant Director Martin Gugel. “It is right outside his coffee shop. We think this is a fitting way to honor his memory each year around his birthday.”

About the Tumbler

Created by sculptor Aris Demetrios, the Tumbler was installed on the square in 1971 and is regarded as Springfield’s first piece of modern art. It was discovered in recent years that the sculpture was intended to be re-oriented, or “tumbled,” every season to create a new piece of art. Creation of the Tumbler was funded by an arts patron identified as "Mrs. Monroe Swyers," who reportedly donated $15,000. Demetrios said that barely covered the cost of steel to make it.

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For more information contact Communication Coordinator Kristen Milam at 573-819-3713 or kmilam@springfieldmo.gov.

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