by Tré Taylor

If you have suffered from depression, there is hope.

ART CAN HELP HEAL YOUR HEART & MIND.

Self expression through playfulness, fun and creating art is good for the soul!

          

Laughing everyday is great for the spirit. 

Creating this silly art car that I was forced to drive everyday,

because it was my only car at the time,

helped me get my life back and off depression medications and their awful side effects.

 

It was funny everyday I drove it.

It was actually hilarious and put everything in perspective.

Sharing such fun art makes people laugh and smile...

Each giggle brings joy that helps heals the heart

of others who may be forgetting what joy and a goofy good laugh feels like.

Bringing free silly art, secretly heals the heart of humanity, one smile at a time!

SQUIRRELS ARE CUTE.  PINWHEELS ARE FUN.

TOGETHER THEY ARE SQUIRRELLY & WHIRLY!

The dashboard is totally nuts!  Literally.

The Squirly Whirly Art Car Story

Once upon a time . . . I bought an old Granny car from Boise, ID that had been sitting in a garage collecting dust for 20 years.

I knew it was going to become something, but had no idea what.  One day, I was shopping at my local fabric store and saw there was a 75% off sale sign over in the corner…. I saw Gnomes… I sauntered closer to take a look. I have a thing for Gnomes; the only problem is they are all too perky and happy. I have been looking for an angry Gnome or at least a sarcastic wise ass Gnome for my collection. No luck (I’ll have to make some of my own) but behind the cheerful hairy little men was a portly large garden ornament Squirrel. I picked him up and he looked to me like…a guy whose name could be….Larry. Yes, Larry the Squirrel before we made to the check out line. He had a crack in him and they took off even more at the register.  The next day I fixed him up as good as new and decided to glue him as a hood ornament to my car.

2009 ~ Then a good Artcar friend Tom Kennedy died and I glued 450 tea lights to the car for his memorial, Candle Car…

2009 SQ~ Later that season I replaced the tea lights with 650 Mylar pinwheels and a couple more Solar Squirrels to keep Larry Company. I debuted him in the Maker Faire 2009, named Squirly Whirly.

THE EXPERIENCE OF DRIVING A CAR COVERED WITH 650 SPINNING TOY PINWHEELS IS GLORIOUS!

2010 SQ1.0~ The next year I got really into recycled art and hand-made pinwheels out of recycled aluminum cans and fiber glassed 165 of them to the car!  Larry was vandalized in the Haight Ashbury Dist.  of San Francisco one night and lost his tail, so he got a Cape to hide the damage and Larry got 20 new squirrel body guards and 18 big solar lights.  Larry is now a "Hippie Hater."

2011 SQv2.0~ The next year, I added a nut mosaic to the entire dashboard, and furry interior.  Removed the solar lights that worked for about 3 months until they rusted out due to the salty sea air living on the Pacific ocean.  Larry was vandalized twice in front of my house in Pacifica, CA.  BASTARDS!  They abducted 8 squirrels, never seen again.  I started working with razor sharp spikes, electric mini fences and shards of spiked broken glass as decor.  Realizing that this may not be child friendly, I went with something tamer.  I started working with aluminum and surf board resin and added new aerodynamic aluminum can pinwheels, more squirrels and met Larry's long lost cousin, Lawrence.  He is 3 times the size of Larry and is trained in squirrel Kung-Fu.  He purposely has not had his shots.  We went to the Seattle Art car Blowout, and got to cruise the West Coast of the U.S. It was AWESOME FUN!!!!!!! 

She was looking shabby and road worn.  One day at work I got a note on my dashboard asking about my car.  I called them and found out that they wanted to have Squirly Whirly on a CBS Affiliate local television show, "Eye On The Bay".  I had two days to shine her up... here is the show!

 

 

VIDEO: See and hear what it feels like driving inside a car covered in pinwheels going 70 miles an hour!

 

 

VIDEO: Handmade recycled art stuff I sold & gave away as

gifts at the Seattle Artcar Blow-out 2011

 

 

VIDEO: Full Artcar Road trip adventure

San Francisco to Seattle Artcar Blow-out, Fremont Fair 2012.

 

 

On February 27, 2012 Squirly Whirly and I were in an episode of "Eye On The Bay" on CBS!

CHECK OUT MY 15 MINUTES OF NUTTY FAME HERE!

VIDEOS: Part 1 | Part  2 | Part 3 | Part 4

 

2012 ~SQV3.0 MAY 27, 2012 Squirly Whirly has been fully upgraded was debuted at the Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary festival!

 

 

2014

An end of an era.

8/9/14

R. I. P. Squirly Whirly Art Car.  Today I had to scrap the old car base.  I have kept all the squirrels and keepsakes from all of you.

My question is: Do I make a SQv4.0?  Yes, I think I will with a better car sometime down the road.  Other artists may just let the theme die with the car, but I have upgraded her progressively over time.  With the “Pinwheels”, it has been an aerodynamic experiment and a social anthropological experiment in the public overall.  Bringing free public art to the world has transformed the quality of my life living with PTSD, panic disorder and depression.  Every time someone waves, honks with approval or stops and get out of their car to take a photo, gives me a happy sense of validation, joy and hope for humanity that they still have a childlike sense of humor.  I like mostly to sit far away and watch and hear people’s reactions to the silly car.  Everyone has a squirrel story too and I have heard them all, good and bad.   I must admit, there are many days I do not want the attention while driving the car or to be found out where I may be shopping based on where my art car is parked.  You can’t be incognito that is for sure, so I have been considering driving a mundane car again. 

A HUGE THANK YOU TO ALL OF THE COOL NEIGHBORS WHO LEFT SQUIRRELY GIFTS ON MY DOORSTEP OVER THE YEARS!!!!!

For the record, it wasn't always fun.  Not everyone likes art, artists, or a tourist attraction coming into their region.  We live next door to the neighbors who have a reputation for being negative, critical and basically creepy unpleasant people.  They constantly called the police and harassed me and my housemate about just having our cars parked in front of our own house.  An other neighbor actually asked me to park my car around the corner to hide it from view of the public because she was afraid it would cause an accident.  These are the kind of people that would call the police to complain about cute little kids setting up a Lemonade Stand in front of their own houses on our block.  Super uncool.

Across the street on the left of this photo is the San Francisco RV Resort.  I have met people from Scotland,  Ireland, Australia, Africa and even traveling circus folks who have stayed in the resort and have walked over to say hello and take photos and post them as a highlight from their travels.  I really dig the full-time RVer's and the stealth van dwellers out there.  I drool over the Vintage Restored Shasta Trailers and the Airstream Travel Trailers that come through too.

It's the things that stand out from the norm that snap you out of your trance or funk and remind us of what is important, BE HERE NOW, LAUGH and DON'T TAKE LIFE OR YOURSELF TOO SERIOUSLY.  Silly public art is designed to do just that, well at least mine is.  All of the vandalism and harassment I endured over the years, never came close to the joy, happiness and fun this art car has brought to thousands -  all over the world.  

I hope the Squirly Whirly made you smile.  She sure helped me through some tough times.  I still have the 1973 T2 Bay window Leopard Lair Ultra Lounge VW Glamper that I am working on restoring inside and out to share with you.  She should be back up and running with a rebuilt Porsche 2.0 liter engine in 2016.

 

 Want to be a part of the future project?

 

 

Help bring free fun public art & joy to the World!!!! 

Create an Artcar of your own!

Do something funny, silly and beautiful everyday - IT WILL KEEP YOU YOUNG!

 

 
 

 

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