Whirligig Park & Artwork in Wilson, NC

Whirligig Park (Preserving a Legacy)

Whirligig Park at night

“Vollis Simpson’s farm, located eleven miles outside of Wilson in the community of Lucama became one of Wilson County’s top tourist destinations without the benefit of any advertising.  In the 1980s, locals referred to the area as ‘Acid Park’ because of how the sculptures would reflect car headlights after dark.. As work of Simpson’s amazing creations spread, his work began to be discovered by art collectors.  At the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland , one will find his 55′ tall, 45′ wide whirligig known as ‘Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness‘ on permanent display.  His pieces are part of several other public and private art collections throughout the world and were once featured in a popular window display at New York’s Bergdorf Goodman department store on 5th Avenue.

As Simpson’s health declined, he was not able to continue painting or greasing the up to 60’ tall kinectic sculptures that are made from recycled agricultural and industrial parts, as well as everyday objects.  Additionally, the windmills, as Simpson referred to them, had endured rain, sun, heat, cold, storms, and hurricanes for thirty years.  It became clear that with out intervention, Wilson’s number one attraction would continue to fall into disrepair and like disappear.  In 2010, a plan was announced to create the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park in Historic Downtown Wilson.  Simpson was delighted that his work would survive and continue to enchant people for generations to come.  Now, the park is home to thirty whirligigs that have been transported from their original location on Simpson’s farm, meticulously restored and installed in the heart of the city as an arts-driven economic development engine.”

Whirligig Slide show (17 Slides)  Click here

Walking around the downtown area of Wilson, one can find many examples of public art (27 slides) Click here.







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