Searching for Termespheres

by Jackie Robles | October 21, 2021

So, what is a Termesphere? A Termesphere is an optical illusion painting by Dick Termes. An inside-out view of the total physical world around you on the outside surface of a hanging and rotating sphere.

Who is Dick Termes? Dick Termes is a Spearfish local, born and raised who is internationally recognized for painting in a six-point perspective on spheres which have been publish in books all over the world.

In order to create these illusions, the spheres are painted on the outside, so it takes a six-point perspective system to keep the environment organized. To explain the six-point perspective, it is important to know how the two-point perspective is viewed. The two-point perspective captures everything between the North point of the horizon and the East. Termes has expanded this discovery of perspective in order to capture more and more of the visual world. With six-point perspective, drawings and paintings reveal a total view encompassing the full 360 degrees in all directions.

See the paintings in person for yourself! Below is a list of the few that can be found amongst the Spearfish community.

Information courtesy of Dick Termes

All Roped In

1. All Roped In

A 12-inch Termesphere painted in 2019.

"All Roped in is an environment of labyrinth type rooms going in all directions. Rope-like columns hold a ceiling above. The rooms have one way in and one way out so the people are all roped into a system of how their lives will be. At least they have a fun environment to live in! "

Find it in the office at Chris’ Campground but, catch it quick! This Termesphere is replaced periodically to showcase other perspectives by Dick Termes.


2. Arches

This is a 24-inch sphere painted in 2016.

"The Arches explores the horseshoe arch from southern Spain. It also Uses the hexagon flower design for the floor. It vanishes in six directions to the horizon line."

Find this Termesphere at the Matthews Opera House and Gallery. This Termesphere is replaced periodically to showcase other perspectives by Dick Termes.

Bellman's Sphere

3. Bellman's Sphere


This is a 24-inch sphere that also goes by the name of Cubes in Space. This Termesphere was donated by Wanda and Stewart Bellman of Spearfish. This piece plays with cubes in a six-point perspective world. Find it in the student union at Black Hills State University.


4. Carousel


This is a 16-inch sphere painted in 1980.

"This painting depicts a carousel moving up and down with evil images embedded in the wooden horses."

This Termesphere also resides at Black Hills State University above the stairs that connect the welcome Center to the Jonas building.

Dripping Dreams

5. Dripping Dreams

This is a 24-inch sphere painted in 2015.

"This piece was created by dripping paint down the sides of the sphere, the locating shapes and faces in the chaos and accentuating their forms. This Termesphere is found hanging at the Matthews Opera House in the gallery."

Watch out for it as it is being periodically replaced to showcase the different perspectives of Dick Termes.

Fish Eye View

6. Fish Eye View

This is a 16-inch sphere painted in 1994.

“This Fish Bowl that I am inside of, shows my brother’s home in the background. The ball is the bowl and you are inside the bowl looking out at the fish around you with the cat looking in.”

Find the Fish Bowl at the Grace Ballock Memorial Library.

Loretto in the Round

7. Loretto In The Round

This is a 24-inch sphere painted in 1991.

“I spent six days working on this on site in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The Chapel is famous for its spiral staircase. The environment is perfect to show what the six-point perspective system can do. Any side of the spherical painting shows a true and accurate image around you. If you think of yourself inside this sphere, it all makes sense.”

Find this Termesphere inside of Visit Spearfish the Visitor Information Center at the corner of Hudson and Main streets.

Matthews Opera House

8. Matthews Opera House

This is a 30-inch sphere painted in 2008.

“This was painted on the spot within the Opera House. I captured it all around, but also went through old photos to find the many plays that have taken place there. These are ghost-like images of the past floating within the environment.”

See this Termesphere in the Opera House between the theatre doors and the stairs.


9. Monoliths

This is a 24-inch sphere painted in 1983.

“Monoliths shows 16 monoliths in a circle around us with a strong sun shining on one side creating shadows. All of the monoliths are also projecting in six-point perspective.”

Find this Termesphere in the lobby at the Holiday Inn.

Our Home

10. Our Home

This is a 36-inch sphere painted in 2017.

“This Sphere is located on the top of the clock tower called OUR TOWN on the corner of Main and Jackson Streets. This sphere is turned by a wheel on the bottom of the clock tower. Gears work their way up to the gear turning the sphere. Stairs wander in and out, up and down within the mountains of Spearfish. People are busy on the stairs doing many different activities.”

It is located right in front of the Visitor Center

Platonic Relationship

11. Platonic Relationship

This is a 36-inch sphere painted in 1993.

“This sphere explores how the five regular polyhedrons relate to each other. Sometimes it is their vertices, sometimes the sides and sometime the faces connect with each other. I took the triangles of the octahedron, tetrahedron and the icosahedron and turned them into a torus (tori) form. The pentagons of the dodecahedron and the squares of the cube also were made into tori forms. The smaller the number of sides the polyhedrons the thicker I made the torus. Each polyhedron was color coded so you could see them as the sphere turns. They weave in and out of each other, so they all get a chance to be out front some of the time.”

Find it at the Spearfish Rec & Aquatics Center.

Portrait of a College

12. Platonic of a College

This is a 30-inch sphere painted in 1995.

"This sphere was a commission by the Library at Black Hills State University in Spearfish.  In the background, I captured the campus as it looked at that time.  The trees belong to certain college Presidents.  Within the branches and leave are hidden images of instructors they had under them.  Some of the instructors are in the shadows of the trees also.  It is a nice piece to show the history.  The portrait of a college has all to do with the teachers.”

Find this Termesphere at the E. Y. Berry Library on the BHSU campus.


13. Spherefish


This is a 48-inch sphere painted in 1996.

“Spearfish is shown from above as well as close up views of buildings and landscapes around Spearfish.”

You can find this Termesphere at the entrance of Spearfish City Hall.

Termes Beer Sphere

14. Termes Beer Sphere


This is a 24-inch sphere commissioned by Spearfish Brewing. It shows the outside and the inside of the Spearfish Brewery in one environment all while coming out of a six-point perspective system. Find it in Downtown Spearfish inside the Spearfish Brewery.


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