Dick Termes


"A Termesphere painting is an optical illusion: an inside-out view of the total physical world around you on the outside surface of a hanging and rotating sphere.  Termespheres capture the up, down, and all around visual world from one revolving point in space.  Most of the time these spheres are painted on the outside so it takes a six-point perspective system to keep all of this environment around you organized."  Artist, Dick Termes

Dick Termes was raised in Spearfish, South Dakota. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Education from his hometown Black Hills State University and began a career as an educator. It was during this period that Dick discovered his passion for sharing ideas.

After four years as a high school art and biology teacher, Dick continued his education at the University of Wyoming, where he received a Master’s Degree in Art and began exploring perspective art. Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles offered him a full scholarship for three of the four semesters to complete his Master of Fine Arts degree.

In 1971, he returned to his native South Dakota and took a position at Black Hills State University as an Associate Professor of Art. He loved time spent in the classroom helping aspiring artists reach their creative potential. Eventually, Dick chose to nurture his own potential and pursue his art on a full-time basis.

Since then, he has flourished as an artist. In 1992, he opened the Termesphere Gallery just outside of Spearfish that has been visited by thousands of art enthusiasts from around the globe.

Termespheres are in permanent collections all over the world—from the Glasgow Science Centre and the Science Centre Singapore, to the Department of Mathematical Sciences at West Point Military Academy and Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.

Dick’s art is featured in dozens of publications, illustrating concepts in art, math, psychology, optical illusions, and even economics. He has presented art and math seminars and lectures not only across the country, but all over the world.

In 1998, Dick was invited to display his work at the University of Rome alongside the work of one of his major influences, M.C. Escher. George Escher, M.C. Escher’s son, reflected on the similarities between Dick’s work and his father’s quest for visually fascinating dimensions.

Dick has received the South Dakota Governor’s Award in the Arts. He has been inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame, and in 2014, his home town of Spearfish designated September 9th as “Dick Termes Day.”

Chapters on his spheres can be found in books like Masters of Deception by Al Seckel, forward by Douglas Hofstadter; M.C. Escher's Legacy, edited by D. Schattschneider and M. Emmer; Math and Art, edited by Claude P. Bruter; Visualizing Linear Algebra with Maple by Sandra Keith; Malleable Matter/Stretchable Space by Rachelle Newman; and The Visual Mind: Art and Mathematics by Michele Emmer. Dick was also asked to be one of the keynote speakers for a California Art Teachers Association annual conference.