Archives

Dr. Charles Smith

A low wall of rocks and broken concrete (one for every African-American soldier killed in Vietnam) forms a water-monster guarded embankment along the ‘river’s’ edge. Water surrounding the perimeter also recalls the swampland refuge of escaped slaves, and the concrete-sculpted alligator-like monster represents both danger to the runaways, and protection from “slave catchers” who feared to enter.

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Dr. Charles Smith has created a sculptural art environment that represents a museum of African-American history: “I lean heavily on the art- everything else seems like foolishness to me” (from a phone conversation in 2022).

Simpson Restoration and Park

Starting about 2010, Vollis Simpson’s sculptures began to be removed from their original locations in his ‘Whirligig Farm’ in Lucama to be restored in downtown Wilson, NC.   Most have been re-installed in the nearby Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park: https://www.wilsonwhirligigpark.org/

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A veteran of WWII, Vollis Simpson had a metal repair shop and a rigging business in Lucama, North Carolina.  He had no background in art, but after retiring, he erected monumental metal whirligig sculptures out of recycled materials.  Most of his sculptures have been restored and relocated to the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park in Wilson, […]

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A veteran of WWII, Vollis Simpson had a metal repair shop and a rigging business in Lucama, North Carolina.  He had no background in art, but after retiring, he erected monumental metal whirligig sculptures out of recycled materials.  Most of his sculptures have been restored and relocated to the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park in Wilson, […]

Billy Tripp

  REPLACE THIS: This is just a placeholder paragraph, which was inserted automatically below the image row, to help you continue writing smoothly. Replace this with other content, or delete it if you already have other content below this. lifetime construction project of monumental proportions, Billy Tripp’s Mindfield Cemetery is a personal diary writ large […]

Portraits

Portraits of artists creators, and performers.

Art Environments – Southeast

Art environments are typically made by by artists working outside the mainstream of contemporary art.  Exposed to the weather and free for public viewing, the environments have little or no connection to the monetized art-object-based realm of galleries and museums.  Often the ‘artists’ don’t think of themselves as, or like to be called ‘artists’, their […]

Banks 2

Floyd “Junior” Banks (A.K.A. “Castleman’s”) full scale castle walls– made almost entirely by Floyd working alone from salvaged materials– have been under continuous construction since 1993. Behind the two castle walls, most rooms are open to the sky, and none are habitable.  Complete with a torture chamber and fireplace, Floyd believes that images representing Divine […]

Banks 1

Floyd “Junior” Banks (A.K.A. “Castleman’s”) full scale castle walls – made almost entirely by Floyd working alone from salvaged materials – have been under continuous construction since 1993. Behind the two castle walls, most rooms are open to the sky, and none are habitable. Complete with a torture chamber and fireplace, Floyd believes that images […]

Tripp 3

Billy Tripp took an art class in the 1970’s and made some paintings and sculptures.  The (independently owned) Mindfield Gill was located in an adjacent plaza to the Mindfield, but is now closed.      

Tripp 2

Written in bridge trusses, i-beams and other re-purposed industrial materials, Billy Tripp’s Mindfield Cemetery, begun in 1989, is a monumental display of his life’s story and experiences. He climbs the 125 foot height un-tethered and expects to continue expanding the Mindfield’s already block-long footprint until he’s physically unable. A fan of travel writer William Least […]

Tripp 1

Written in bridge trusses, i-beams and other re-purposed industrial materials, Billy Tripp’s Mindfield Cemetery, begun in 1989, is a monumental display of his life’s story and experiences. He climbs the 125 foot height un-tethered and expects to continue expanding the Mindfield’s already block-long footprint until he’s physically unable. A fan of travel writer William Least […]

Portraits of ‘Outsider’ and Visionary Artists, 2013-2018

Often self-taught ‘artists’ don’t think of themselves as, or like to be called ‘artists’.  They may not produce any ‘for sale’ art objects, their work may be too personal, or it may be intended to carry religious messages from God (for which they accept no personal credit).  Many think of themselves as being too unskilled […]

Portraits of ‘Outsider’ and Visionary Artists, 2005-2012

Often self-taught ‘artists’ don’t think of themselves as, or like to be called ‘artists’.  They may not produce any ‘for sale’ art objects, their work may be too personal, or it may be intended to carry religious messages from God (for which they accept no personal credit).  Many think of themselves as being too unskilled […]

Art Environments – Overview

Art environments are typically made by by artists working outside the mainstream of contemporary art.  Exposed to the weather and free for public viewing, the environments have little or no connection to the monetized art-object-based realm of galleries and museums.  Often the ‘artists’ don’t think of themselves as, or like to be called ‘artists’, their […]

Art Cars and Bikes

Art vehicles can be essentially a detachable extension of an art environment (Leonard Knight, Clarke Bedford, Jeff Elersic), an expression of personal biography (Billy Tripp, Melanie Harris), a cohesively themed idea (Harrod Blank), or a decorative extravaganza (Greg Phelps, Guy DeShazo).

Grottos, Shrines, and Memorials

Dickeyville Grotto by Father Matthias Wernerus in Dickeyville, Wisconsin Rudolph Grotto by Father Philip Wagner in Rudolph, Wisconsin Shrine of the Grotto of the Redemption by Father Paul Dobberstein in West Bend, Iowa St. Peters Rock Grotto by Father Scheier in Farmer, Noirth Dakota

Religious Building Conversions

Buildings such as theaters, banks, fire stations, and storefronts repurposed to churches and mosques. Synagogues converted into Christian churches.