Los Trompos returns to Beacon Park with larger-than-life spinning tops

Erica Hobbs
Special to The Detroit News

Detroit has become more colorful. Los Trompos has returned to Beacon Park, now through May 23, and features eight larger-than-life spinning tops designed by award-winning Mexican artists and designers Héctor Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena. The interactive art exhibit, Spanish for “spinning tops,” is prime for sitting, spinning and playing.

“Play and joy really bring people together,” said Beacon Park manager Meg Heeres. “A lot of times we don’t get to touch or play with art. This is a great way to interact with an art object in a playful and accessible way.”

Olivia Colon, 8, gets spun by her mother Carmen Colon at the interactive art installation at Los Trompos at Beacon Park.

The tops come in a variety of colors and shapes, which allow for both active and passive interaction. Heeres said one thing she loves about the exhibit is that it is intergenerational, enjoyable and accessible for people of all ages.

Carmen Morones, 4, spins her mother, Biance Cuevas, and brothers Paolo Morones, 1, and Romeo Morones, 2, inside a spinning top at an international, interactive art installation, Los Trompos.

“You can sit and enjoy the colors, looking at the park in a different kind of way,” she said. “Or it can be a lot more active, either pushing somebody or experiencing the joy of spinning around.” 

Based on the traditional Mexican toy, Los Trompos is also a cultural celebration, created in part by fabric woven in a traditional style by Mexican artisans. Heeres said exploring different cultures through art and performance is important to Beacon Park.

“We’re committed to being a welcoming space for all and a space for learning,” she said. “Detroit has a large Mexican-American population, and it’s great to celebrate cultures that exist in the region and beyond.” 

Carmen Morones, 4, spins with her brother Romeo Morones, 2, at an international, interactive art installation at Beacon Park.

Also part of the celebration of Mexican culture, Beacon Park will host a Cinco de Mayo event from 3-7 p.m. on Sunday. The festival will feature live music from local musicians, dance performances and opportunities to learn several types of Latin dance. Performers include Mexican folkloric dance troupe Raices Mexicanas de Detroit and Cuban salsa and timba band Grupo Escobar. The Detroit Dance Loft dance studio will offer both performances and lessons in Latin dance.

Los Trompos originated in Atlanta in 2015 with more than 30 tops. The DTE Beacon Park Foundation purchased part of the installation, which made its eight-top Detroit debut in 2019. With the onset of the pandemic, the park chose not to display the tops in 2020. But Heeres said they’ve learned how people can gather in a safe way, and new rules are in place. 

Visitors are asked to wash or sanitize their hands before and after playing, and masks are required at all times, even by those who have been vaccinated. No more than one household of up to four people are allowed on each top, and guests are asked to maintain a distance of at least six feet from others. 

“We really care about creating a safe, outdoor space for people to experience joy,” Heeres said. “For some people to see inside a museum or gallery is not possible right now. They should attend because it’s a really unique way to experience art in a very accessible, hands-on, intergenerational way.”

Heeres said Beacon Park plans to continue showcasing Los Trompos annually or biannually.

Los Trompos at Beacon Park

now through May 23

Cinco de Mayo event

 3-7 p.m. on Sunday, April 3