Whirligigs in Wilson

Vollis Simpson has become famous for his amazing whirligigs – whimsical constructions with myriad figures, shapes, and colors, all mechanically wind-powered.  Now in his 90s, Mr. Simpson still actively builds and maintains his creations.  But even for a man of his considerable capability, keeping up with 30+ large and aging clockwork machines/artworks is a bigger task.  So the city of Wilson, NC has set out to create a whirligig park, to preserve and display these terrific creations, and celebrate in an enduring way Mr. Simpson’s accomplishments.  Work has already begun, and I was privileged to see it in process.


Last week I visited Wilson, NC at the invitation of the Economic Development Office and Janet Kagan of Public Art Collaborative.  Not only is Wilson conserving and restoring the whirligigs, they are creating an “industrial artisan” community in the center of town, right around the whirligig park-to-be.  They will foster the development of creative skills, and projects/companies which are creatively focused (and make sizable stuff).  So, we’re talking about whether Spotlight can contribute.

I think it would be fairly mind-expanding to design and fabricate Spotlight Solar prototypes right across the street from this…

Vollis Simpson whirligigs night

Here is a lovely video as well (8 min., so I didn’t embed).