Dix Park Conservancy Launches New Sculpture + Art Initiative

Dix Park is getting art for all to enjoy—including two Thomas Dambo trolls in 2025

“All great parks have great art.” So said Dix Park Conservancy Art Task Force chair Marjorie Hodges—and the sentiment rings true for one of Raleigh’s own great parks, Dorothea Dix, which just unveiled the first of many new public art installations, Attun, by sculptor DeWitt Godfrey.

“I am moved that my work will be part of this special, reimagined space for the diverse communities of Raleigh,” says Godfrey, whose installation of  80+ steel cylinders of different sizes can be found near the newly renovated stone houses.

The 18-foot-tall, 150-foot-long sculpture—translating to “to harmonize with”—is part of Dix Park Conservancy’s just-launched art initiative, which aims to enhance the park’s art with both local and internationally known artists. These projects will join existing pieces through the 308-acre park like the Sunflower Power Poles, a collab between North Carolina artist Thomas Sayre and Duke Energy.

“At Dix Park Conservancy, we are committed to building and celebrating community, and nothing does that quite like the joy of experiencing art together,” says DPC CEO Janet Cowell. “We look forward to collaborating with artists and arts organizations of all kinds to add to our region’s hugely impressive arts portfolio and to maximize the potential of our unique space. Dix Park believes in art for everyone.”

Additional works already planned include two troll sculptures by world-renowned recycle artist Thomas Dambo, whose famous trolls made from reclaimed wood have attracted a following across the globe (think 100 spanning from Rhode Island to Denmark to Australia!), with the Raleigh trolls making their debut in October 2025.

Not to mention sculptures from Lamar Whidbee and Mark Reigelman II; a poetry project with Jaki Shelton Green, the first African-American and third woman to be named NC Poet Laureate; and a poem from Johnny Lee Chapman for the Gipson Play Plaza—each uniquely suited to enhance the natural landscape and history of Dix Park.

Later this year, also expect an Artist Studio in Residence program in the park’s historic and recently renovated Physician’s House, which will be geared toward NC artists and artist teams, particularly those interested in environmental art, land art, environmental stewardship, and working with natural materials and sustainable practices at the park. 

These initiatives come on the heels of DPC’s partnership with Artsplosure and Downtown Raleigh Alliance to develop “Raleigh’s smallest park,” as well as a wayfinding mural along the Rocky Branch Greenway Tunnel—and aligns with the Dix Park Master Plan, which includes arts and culture as one of six programming themes. 

“We envision Dix Park Arts as diverse, imaginative, enlightening and collaborative,” adds Hodges. “We whole-heartedly support the City of Raleigh’s effort to leverage the power of art and we are already partnering with other organizations in our region’s robust arts ecosystem.”

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Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.