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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Springfield in Greene County, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

1971 Tumbler

Corten Steel

 
 
1971 Tumbler Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, April 5, 2021
1. 1971 Tumbler Marker
Inscription.  Park Central Square was designed by renowned landscape architect Lawrence Halprin and his team in the early 1970s. The space was intended to be, in Halprin's words, "an active space for public assembly, devoted to pedestrians and their needs and comforts."

The City of Springfield received a gift of $15,000 in 1971 from Mrs. Monroe Swyers for a new sculpture for the Park Central Square. It was to be the first modern sculpture to be displayed by the City, designed and built by an aspiring artist named Aris Burton Demetrios.

The Tumbler was installed in Park Central Square in 1971 and features a clever polygonal structure with no official top, bottom, or sides. It was intended to be turned over or "tumbled" once a season so that it would change over time. However, that purpose was unknown until 2012 when the City of Springfield, contracted Demetrios to research the piece. The Tumbler has since been tumbled by the City at each Equinox and Solstice.

About the Sculptor
Aris Burton Demetrios


Demetrios was born and raised in Massachusetts. His father, George Demetrios, was a classical sculptor, trained
1971 Tumbler Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, April 5, 2021
2. 1971 Tumbler Marker
Marker is in front of the sculpture at Park Square.
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by Bourdelle and a student of Rodin. His mother, Virginia Lee Burton, was the renowned author and illustrator of children's books including Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and The Little House, for which she won the prestigious Caldecott prize. After graduating from Harvard College, Mr. Demetrios spent three years as an officer in the Navy and then studied at the George Demetrios School for three years. In 1963, he won his first national sculpture competition when his proposed design was selected for a major fountain commission on the campus of Stanford University (the White Memorial Fountain: Mem Claw).

Demetrios completed a series of monumental public sculptures in San Francisco, New York and on the Island of Corregidor; he then had several gallery and museum shows featuring his figurative bronze sculptures including Trickster, his abstract bronze sculptures like The Cube and his painted or patinaed steel sculptures likeTomorrow's Dreams. Demetrios' sculptures speak to us. They invite us to smile, to resonate with his narrative message, to find meaning on our own, and to cherish the ability of art to be a language of invitation.

Tim Billionis 1971-2016

Born the same year The Tumbler was installed at Park Central Square and sharing the same Greek heritage as Demetrios, Tom Billionis was a huge fan of
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the sculpture.

Billionis co-founded The Coffee Ethic on the south side of the Square in 2007. He had a tremendous passion for life and he loved sharing his coffee expertise with everyone. He cared deeply for his friends. He was an encourager, a teacher and a role model. Tom led his family and friends by example.

Through his magnetic personality, The Coffee Ethic quickly became an entrepreneurial incubator for a wide variety of Downtown businesses and a gathering point for Downtown supporters. Billionis served with distinction on the Boards of Downtown Springfield Association and Downtown Springfield Community Improvement District. The Downtown Lifetime Achievement Award was renamed in his honor in 2016 and the names of past recipients are recognized in the brick pavers below. This plaque was funded by friends of Tom Billionis in honor of his rich legacy of community service and as a gift to his wife, Michelle, and their three daughters - Marin, Grace and Amelia.
 
Erected by friends of Tom Billionis.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, MusicCharity & Public WorkParks & Recreational Areas. A significant historical year for this entry is 1971.
 
Location. 37° 12.525′ N, 93° 17.547′ W. Marker is in Springfield, Missouri
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, in Greene County. Marker is on Park Central Square west of South Avenue, on the left when traveling east. Marker is located at Park Square, in front of the Tumbler sculpture. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 118122 Park Central Square, Springfield MO 65806, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Wild Bill's Shootout (a few steps from this marker); History of Springfield Public Square (within shouting distance of this marker); Three Black Men Lynched (within shouting distance of this marker); Battle of Springfield (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Battle of Springfield (within shouting distance of this marker); Lynching in America / The Lynchings of Horace B. Duncan, Fred Coker and William Allen (within shouting distance of this marker); Dedicated to the Loving Memory of Dr. R. Fred Schweitzer (within shouting distance of this marker); Butterfield Overland Stage (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Springfield.
 
Also see . . .  Aristides "Aris" Demetrios on Wikipedia. Demetrios (born 1932) has done several sculptures, as exhibitions and commissioned projects, all around the United States from California to all over the East Coast. (Submitted on June 2, 2021, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 2, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 2, 2021, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 19 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 2, 2021, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.

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Jun. 16, 2021