Square sculpture, the "Tumbler," to turn for Billionis

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The Tumbler in Springfield MO

The public is invited to a special summertime rotation of the Park Central Square sculpture, the Tumbler, at 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 21.

This is a unique tumble for Public Works crews as this quarterly event coincides with a celebration of the life of late Coffee Ethic owner Tom Billionis.

Billionis, a passionate supporter of downtown Springfield business development, was a fan of the Tumbler. Downtown business owners and donors have recently funded the installation of a new plaque meant to educate the public about the sculpture and honor Billionis.

“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.”

A public dedication of the new plaque will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 24.

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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