George Gerber of Sarasota, Fla., is the creator of Tube Dude.
A mailbox Tube Dude.
George Gerber designs Tube Dude for businesses like this plumber Dude.
Scott Gerber is the internationally acclaimed artist behind the creation of colorful, steel, tube-like, stick figures in poses that are modeled toward a community’s theme.
Ed Driggers announced at City Council Tuesday night that eight Tube Dudes have been commissioned for Greer with an option to purchase eight more. “The artist will be with us and decide what features will be designed to specific areas,” Driggers said.
Driggers told Council funding, which was not made public, was within the fiscal year 2016-2017 budget. No vote was needed and council members did not comment for or against the project.
“We may see a Tube Dude at a soccer complex, a basketball court or volleyball courts,” Driggers said.
The Tube Dude is part of the Greer Master Plan and Partnership for Tomorrow to create an art community in Greer. Six resident artists will occupy the City Auditorium.
“We’ve done a lot of research about Greer and we’re excited. We want to bring something special to Greer,” Gerber told GreerToday.com. “Greer has a distinguished location.”
Gerber said 48 countries have Tube Dudes with 35 of the figures scattered throughout Paris. There is a distance Gerber maintains with the locations in the U.S. to keep it unique to the region, he said.
“Tube Dudes create emotion,” Gerber, from Sarasota, Fla., said.
Driggers was visiting Sarasota when he came upon the tube figures. The communication between Gerber and the city began soon after.
Sarasota has adopted the Dude Tubes throughout its community and significantly on its wharf. The figures designed as faces are all smiling. Mailboxes, animals, sports and work dudes are among Gerber’s design inventory.
A video presented to Council showed notes customers shared with owners of the art. “One person shared a note that people would park along the curb just to look at the Tube Dude.”
Gerber said businesses around the country have commissioned him to design a piece of tube art representing their business and to signal their locations.
“We have never duplicated anything,” Gerber said. “It’s all one percent sold to being happy.”
“We believe the powers of the smile is a great opportunity for us in Greer,” Driggers said.