Pileus explores the intersection of ancient rites and contemporary sculpture in a ceremony combining dance, sculpture, music, and audience participation.  As a group, volunteers joined the artist to erect a sculpture in Oppenstein Brothers Memorial Park and wrapped it to music in a way similar to Maypole ceremonies held throughout Europe.  Passers by were encouraged to put on a pileus (used as the hat of freed slaves in Ancient Greek and Roman cultures), and engage in helping to wrap the large sculpture with strips of plastic wrap, all the while joining in dance and song.

The pileus was a cap that was part of an ancient Roman ceremony that would free slaves from their masters. In this ceremony, the Roman slave owner would tap the slave on the shoulder with the ceremonial stick, shave the slave’s head, and give them a pileus as a replacement for their head of hair. Freed slaves would then wear the pileus to show the people of Rome their newfound liberation from slavery. Through this performance, the artist wished to invoke a similar sense of freedom, liberation, and a movement towards auspicious new beginnings.

Date and Location

This community collaboration will take place on August 6th, in Oppenstein Park at Walnut and 12th.


Tim Brown is an Oklahoma-born sculptor, drawer, and writer who transplanted to Kansas City from Los Angeles in the Summer of 2013.  He’s currently a Charlotte Street Foundation Urban Culture Project Resident, and will be participating in Chicago’s Terrain Biennial this August.  In addition to his individual practice, Brown also exhibits with art collective Okay Mountain, who will be showing work at Mark Moore Gallery in Los Angeles this September.


Instagram: @spondu

Twitter: @unotito