Vollis Simpson, at work on yet another massive whirligig

b. 1919
Lives Lucama, NC

About half an hour east of Raleigh, in the middle of a pasture on a North Carolina farm, you'll find an amazing sight. Someone has filled a field with a series of huge, moving metal sculptures. That someone is Vollis Simpson.
Vollis is a lean, strong man of very few words. He started building his enormous whirligigs (some over 40 feet tall) in 1985. He's very defensive when they're referred to as art made from scrap, or junk. "I buy all the material I use. If you start with junk, all you're gonna build is junk. I guess you could build something okay, but if you know what you want to build, you're gonna be looking around forever to find the right part."

Vollis builds some smaller whirligigs and airplanes that he sells for visitors to take home. He's got some great stuff, though the best of it is way too big to carry off without a van. Oh, and try to go on a windy day so you can see everything in motion.



Bernice Sims
Missionary Mary Proctor