SEEK Raleigh

SEEK Raleigh at Dorothea Dix Park | May 31 - June 1

SEEK Raleigh at Dix Park is a festival of the arts bringing together 20 temporary art installations and performances in partnership with Raleigh Arts. These experimental projects are designed to introduce the public to new, diverse, and thought-provoking experiences in which both the artist and the community will find novel ways to learn and share the stories of Dorothea Dix Park, one of the City’s most important historical sites.

Explore the park as artists bring alive the history and significance of our Dorothea Dix campus through puppetry, sound, structure, illumination, and performance art. On Saturday, enjoy food, drinks, music, dancing and arts + craft activities for kids and adults as you circulate the park participating with artists to bring their work to life.

Friday, May 31  |  Starting at 5:00 pm  |  Friday Schedule

Saturday, June 1  |  Starting at 3:00 pm  |  Saturday Schedule
Start your tour at the Big Field which will host the family friendly and festival events all day. Find installations and performances using the GoRaleigh Park Circulator Bus, on foot or by car. Parking is available throughout Dorothea Dix Park. View or Download a parking map.

Please RSVP Registration is not required, but it does help us to know how many guests to expect and we can contact you with important event information. 

RSVP Today

Two Black on Black Project performance artists standing in a wooded area

Black On Black Project

The Will of the Father

A performance piece meant to remind us of what once was and how that affects us today. The piece, including a monologue by Johnny Lee Chapman, III, speaks to part of the legacy of Theophilus Hunter, Sr. — one of the fathers of the city of Raleigh — and how it affected the lives of African-Americans. Choreography and movement from Anthony "Ajay" Nelson invokes the spirit of the 61 souls bequeathed in Hunter's will, who were recognized by first name only. Nelson weaves through the 61 wooden, white markers that represent each soul.

May 31  |  8 pm (Film screening of the performance)

June 1  |  4 - 7 pm (Performances on the hour,3 to 5 minutes each)

blown glass sculpture lit up at night

Jonathan Michael Davis

Never Make Absolute Statements
These illuminated sculptures are created from hundreds of pieces of blown glass assembled around a stainless steel armature that houses LED's. The shapes invoke familiarity with themes of aquatic life and extraterrestrial viruses while casting life to worn or forgotten spaces.

Opens May 31

Artist seated in front of an illuminated metal art piece of a leopard

Elsa Hoffman

Scene 1 and Scene 2
This piece examines dance as a form of human relationships with a focus on body and form in space. Cut metal dancers are affixed to the outside of an empty cottage bringing life and conversation to these vacant architectural shell.

Opens May 31

interactive movie and art installation with headphones

George Jenne

Turpentine Movie Night
Turpentine Movie Night is a double feature of two cult classics, nestled inside a grove of pine trees. Come and go as you please, but the longer you watch, the closer you’ll come to a transcendent experience.

May 31  |  Sunset, lasts 1.5 hours

June 1  |  Sunset, lasts 1.5 hours

Black and white photo of the artist standing outside in a wooded area

 Tarish "Jeghetto" Pipkins

Mental Slavery
Mental Slavery is an interactive puppet installation. This piece explores the history of the property now named Dorothea Dix Park.

May 31  |  6 - 9 pm

June 1  |  4 - 9 pm

Wendy Spitzer (Felix Obelix) in Dix Park

Felix Obelix (aka Wendy Spitzer)

Dix in Sound in Situ
Incorporating original music, interview snippets, hotline recordings, narration, and found sounds, Dix in Sound in Situ is a new traveling audio installation by Felix Obelix (aka musician and interdisciplinary artist Wendy Spitzer). Visitors to Dix will listen to the installation on headphones as they walk a one-mile loop through the park, experiencing the collapse of time and history, and connecting them to the artist, to the place, and to the sounds themselves.

Opens May 31

painted Canvas artwork installation in a gallery

Wayne Marcelli

Shelter in Place
Shelter in Place is an installation of painted canvas and paracord. Visually this work makes reference to temporary structures (such as in primitive camping) and abstract painting reimagined as something functional, improvised, utilitarian. The title is drawn from the emergency management alert used in response to threats like active shooter attacks. The notion that an artwork could provide shelter from such an attack is a tongue-in-cheek nod to the risk we take in simply engaging publicly in a country that houses more guns than it does people. 

Opens May 31

Artist and band performing on a stage surrounded by historical objects

Tift Merritt

The Other Side of Hungry River, Sings
A collection of found objects from Cherry and Dorothea Dix state mental health hospitals tell their stories and conjure the people they encountered. The lyrical aspects of what are left behind at Dix and Cherry offer vibrant entry points to the highly charged questions the sites beg: How does trauma scar a place, an individual, a community? Who can diagnose disconnection from reality in the modern world? What if we treated our most fragile not as forgotten orphans but as relevant and true? How can telling stories help heal?

On view May 31  |  5 - 8 pm

On view June 1  |  3 - 8 pm 


indoor dimly lit art installation of a circle of chairs and lights

Victoria Neal Ralston

All That We Leave Behind
A cabinet of wonders, a collection of objects, stories, faces, my memories gathered over eighteen years of working in mental health in North Carolina. As a puppeteer, sculptor, painter, and collector, my plan is to create an intimate, interactive sculptural piece filled with layered visual ephemera, text, and sound and light that illustrate my memories from the asylum.

On view May 31  |  5 - 8 pm

On view June 1  |  3 - 8 pm 


Brightly colored totem structures between trees

Banded Wilderness

Among the pines, brightly colored, totem-like saplings have taken root, speaking to one another through a lost language. Discover a magic grove within Dorothea Dix Park when you visit this site specific installation of sculpture and sound.

Opens June 1 

Dancers on stage holding large red lips

Amanda Barr

Living Picnic
Come witness a super super sized picnic come to life where humans frolic adorned in food costumes. I’m inviting the public to gather and interact costumed as their choice of picnic item on a giant quilt. Join our group or simply eat your lunch and watch the show.

June 1  |  3 - 7 pm

screenshot from a video piece featuring the artist laying on the ground

Connor Calhoun 

Inspired by faerie gardens, tree carvings, pastoral romantics, and the poetics of climate change Conner Calhoun creates videos as their own mythology. While dressed as a sunflower raised on corn-fed ghost stories, Calhoun will use the classical forms of theater in order to question story-telling's own moral compass.

Opens June 1 

Hen Institute logo over a photo of hens

Adam Carlin

Hen Institute
Hen Institute is a chicken coop as a public art project, community space, and school. An assortment of creative and educational lectures and workshops will happen on site at the coop in addition to off-site community meals made with the eggs produced by the hens. Hen Institute will pair the idea of food related nourishment to creative and educational nourishment for communities in Raleigh.

June 1  |  3 - 9 pm

Carolina City Steppers dancing with community members

Capital City Steppers

Carolina Steppin
You're invited to join the Capital City Steppers as we spend the afternoon dancing under the Carolina Sky. We'll perform our latest dance routine titled Carolina Steppin and each performance will be followed by a mini-lesson.

June 1  |  4 pm, 6 pm + 7 pm

Interactive art installation with two people

Julia Caston

Oracle Machine
The Oracle Machine is a magical device where you can seek advice and tell secrets. Specially trained oracles will be at your service.

June 1  |  5 -9 pm

News stand installation piece

Orvokki Crosby

The Concern Newsstand
The Concern Newsstand is a curated bookstore/ web store project by artist & proprietor Orvokki Crosby. Based in Chapel Hill at Attic 506, with an outpost at Lump Gallery in Raleigh, along with pop ups in places like Dix Park, the book store specializes in limited edition artist books, zines, comics, art books, used books & hard to find publications.

June 1  |  3 - 8 pm

Ball made of plastic waste with a persons feet hanging off of it

Mike Dimpfl + Ginger Wagg

Leaving Impossible Things Unattended
Leaving Impossible Things Unattended (LITU) performance installation is a reminder that there's no real way to escape plastic waste, though we like to pretend otherwise. We can build a park on a landfill and pretend nature is permanent, but plastic is the real forever.

June 1  |  2 - 9 pm

Draft of a projection art piece on the silos at Dix Park

Pat Fitzgerald + Todd Berreth

The Four Humours
The Four Humours is a monumental-scale confession booth, made possible via projection mapping, a custom piece of software, and a number of unique interfaces. This computational artwork is designed specifically for Dorothea Dix Park, with an intended installation site at the “3 Silos” location. The silos will serve as giant projected containers of secrets, confessions, perspectives and emotion.

June 1  |  Sunset - 10 pm

Artist sitting behind a faux government desk

Stacey L. Kirby

Kirby’s newest ‘performative interaction’ makes use of bureaucratic forms, postures, and the styles of interactions associated with the way the State confers citizenship and ritualizes civil authority. Kirby and community members reference themes of citizenship, identity, and human rights as they interact with participants through civil presence assessments. Average time for participation in this piece is 30 minutes or less.

June 1  |  3 - 5 pm + 6 - 7:30 pm

Child dictates a letter to the president while the artist types it up on a typewriter

Sheryl Oring

I Wish to Say
Sheryl Oring invites the public to dictate a postcard to the U.S. President as part of her I Wish to Say project. She offers you a chance to speak your mind and will type your postcard verbatim using a manual typewriter.

June 1  |  3 - 4:30 pm + 5:30 - 7 pm

SEEK Raleigh Map of art installations at Dix Park
List of corresponding art installations that pertain to the Seek Raleigh map at Dix Park

Accessibility Guide

Seek Raleigh is working to be accessible and welcoming for visitors with disabilities. Have questions about accessibility at SEEK Raleigh? Want to meet in-person, talk via phone, or email? Contact Jenn Hales , Raleigh Arts at 919-996-5657 or  

Accessible Parking with marked spaces is available in all lots on site. Since the projects are located in various places throughout the park, not all will be a reasonable distance from parking. See below to see a listing of special instructions for access to projects. The best drop addresses off for cabs or rideshare is 101 Blair Drive at the Big Field.

On Saturday June 1 a Park Circulator Bus will run from 3:00 - 9:00 pm with stops throughout the park.  

Accessible restrooms are located at Blair Drive at the Big Field, Ruggles Drive at the Silos and Umstead Drive at the Three Stone Cottages.

SEEK Raleigh events occur outdoors and there are portions of the Dix Park that have uneven surfaces are not ADA accessible. The event map shows how to navigate the festival and view the art from a wheelchair and also notes which experiences have auditory components.  Accessibility Guide for Specific Artworks Below

Black on Black
To access this piece via wheelchair, take the small alley off of Dwire Drive that runs along the  north side of the stone cottages. Use the sidewalk/ramp at the end of the alley to wrap around the small cottage and approach from the side. There is a sidewalk which leads up to the front of the building.
Oracle Machine
Performers in this installation will be located on the porches of the small cottages in Richardson Circle. If you do not wish to navigate the steps up to the porch, the performers will bring the Oracle Machines to you by the roadside.
Leaving Impossible Things Unattended
This installation/performance can be viewed from Umstead Drive.
Scene 1 and Scene 2 
This installation can be viewed from Richardson Drive.
I Wish to Say
This installation/performance is located on the lawn by Blair Drive. You can approach most of the way via the sidewalk, but there is a section that will require journeying across a flat grassy stretch.
Mental Slavery
To access this piece via wheelchair, take the small alley off of Dwire Drive that runs along the  north side of the stone cottages. Use the sidewalk/ramp to the East of the largest of the cottages to wrap around the large cottage and arrive upon the porch.
Dix in Sound in Situ
Access this audio tour online
Never Make Absolute Statements
This piece is suspended in an oak tree and viewable from the intersection of Dwire Drive and Umstead Drive.
Accessing this piece requires navigating a set of 5 stairs down into a grassy courtyard.