Whirligig Park in Wilson, NC

I’ve done a video and an article on Acid park, which was it’s previous predecessor.  However, the location has changed from the work yard of Vollis Simpson to downtown Wilson after his passing.  Vollis Simpson’s artwork was previously left abandoned in his yard until they decided to renovate it and bring it back to life in the heart of downtown Wilson.  This whimsical little park bursting with color, has taken over, with its vibrant color, dynamic motion, and rhythmic sound that captivates your senses, the heart of visitors.

This is, the whirligig park. A 2 acre park in downtown Wilson, NC. Filled with iconic, monumental, wind powered sculptures of world-renowned artist and engineer Vollis Simpson.  About 3 dozen small and large folk art sculptures that spin and rotate are the focus of this outdoor art installation.  Artist Vollis Simpson’s creations are indeed like Dr. Seuss, I could stare at them for hours. Each one, a unique creation in itself, performs its own distinct dance in the wind and creates a wind chime throughout the park.

Simpson’s windmills embody folklorist Henry Glassie’s observation of a common folk artists’ practice of miniaturizing or “super-sizing” objects drawn from their workaday lives. Vollis Simpson was taken with the gargantuan.  After a lifetime repairing machinery and moving houses, Simpson eventually found himself at age 65 with spare time and numerous spare parts. That’s when he began constructing enormous windmills in his yard.  The windmill-like structures are built with scrap parts from things like old cars and reflectors. The whirligigs are a tremendous example of individual creativity and recycling.

Vollis Simpson died on May 31, 2013 at the age of 94. A dedicated maker, Simpson continued working almost daily in his shop until about six months before his death.  Now sits his life work, on a two-acre park, designed by award-winning landscape architecture . Slowly revolving around in downtown Wilson, NC.

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