What is that red sculpture?

Updated January 11, 2022
Many people drive by the big, red sculpture off of I-80 and some see it up close by visiting Sculpture Park, but less people know why it is there and what it is.

There is an urban legend that the sculpture is a rose. That legend makes a lot of sense given it is located in Rose-ville, but that isn’t what the artist sculpted it to be at all.

The 80-foot-tall steel sculpture was designed in the late 1980s by sculptor Aris Demetrios and named “Cosmos.” 

In a 2016 interview, Demetrios shared that he designed the sculpture as a salute to the cosmos. According to Merriam-Webster, cosmos is defined as “an orderly harmonious systematic universe.”
Cosmos was dedicated to the people of Roseville in 1990 by developer Angelo Tsakopoulos and has been the centerpiece of Sculpture Park and a local landmark to drivers ever since. 

To add to Sculpture Park, we hosted an elementary student art contests between 1998 and 2004. The winning designs were cast in bronze and displayed in the park near the base of Cosmos.
Unfortunately we ended the annual contest when more than 30 of the smaller student-designed sculptures were stolen. The remaining sculptures were removed and returned to families or housed in other locations. 

In 2012, student artwork returned to Sculpture Park in the form of glass mosaic tile pieces created through a fifth-grade student art contest.

So there you have it, a brief overview of Sculpture Park and the artwork that lives there. 
And if you’ve always thought Cosmos was supposed to be an abstract rose, the artist isn’t bothered by you believing that. 

“The beauty in that is people can interpret it however they want,” he says. “As long as people see the beauty of it, I’m fine with that.”