May 31, 2024 - Things to Do

A whimsical "Whirlythings" backyard art show in Beaverdale

A photo of Whirlythings.

🎥 This video previews some of the pieces Ken Keiran made in preparation for Sunday's sale. Screenshot: Courtesy of Ken Keiran/Whirlythings

If you're looking for a more whimsical experience, stop by the "Whirlythings" Garden Art Show in Beaverdale on Sunday.

Driving the news: The art show by Beaverdale residents Ken and Marta Keiran features "wind-driven art pieces" for sale, aka — everything whirly, bright, colorful and chimes in the breeze.

Flashback: In the 1930s and '40s, farmers would make lawn ornaments for fun out of whatever spare parts they could find, including bicycle wheels and cream disc separators used for milk, Ken Keiran says.

  • As a kid, Keiran remembers his father making these art pieces. But when he died in 2001, he realized he never asked his dad how to make them.

State of play: Keiran got creative and started rummaging thrift stores and garage sales for items like Jell-O molds, bowls, coffee cup hooks and whatever he could find that would spin in the wind.

  • That grew into making "whirly things" for his neighbors and friends, which led to custom orders and an annual backyard show.

The intrigue: It's become harder to find parts that aren't plastic, like the old aluminum Jell-O molds and turning metal pieces he's become accustomed to using. Other things don't hold up as well in the wind.

  • "I can see the writing on the wall," Keiran says, expecting that he won't make the ornaments someday.

What's next: The Keirans are going on their 14th year of hosting the "Whirlythings" art show in their backyard with 20 other artists also selling items.

  • Expect everything from garden items, pottery, jewelry, paintings, sculpture, tie-dye and more.

If you go: 12-5pm Sunday; 4320 Franklin Ave., DSM.

A photo of whirlythings.
Prices vary from $10 trinkets to pieces that sell for hundreds. Screenshot: Courtesy of Ken Keiran/Whirlythings
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