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Whirligig art creator Vollis Simpson dies at 94

June 1, 2013 • Entertainment


In this Thursday, June 21, 2012 file photo, whirligig artist Vollis Simpson sits outside his shop in Lucama, N.C. Simpson, a self-taught artist famed for his whimsical, wind-powered whirligigs, has died. He was 94. Simpson’s wife, Jean, told the Wilson Daily Times that her husband died in his sleep Friday, May 31, 2013. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Where others saw trash, Vollis Simpson saw whimsical, wind-powered whirligigs, creations with hundreds of moving parts that turned and twirled.

The whirligigs were made from recycled heating and air conditioning systems and reflector material Simpson patiently cut into thousands of tiny pieces that made the works shine when lights hit them in the dark. His work was featured in museums, backyards, dentist offices and the 1996 Olympics.

“I got caught with a lot of material, and I worked it out,” Simpson said in a 2010 interview with The Associated Press.

Simpson, 94, died Friday, Beth Liles of Joyner’s Funeral Home said.

Folklorist Jefferson Currie, who began working with Simpson about three years ago to Login to read more

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