Brown chickens with the words Hen Institute

Hen Institute

A SEEK project by Adam Carlin with support from Raleigh Arts

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chicken coop trailer being towed by a black truck

Hen Institute is a public art project sponsored by the Raleigh Arts Commission as part of SEEK Raleigh. It is composed of a mobile chicken coop and classroom inhabited by egg-laying chickens. Hen Institute invites artists and community members to use hens as a curatorial framework to create artistic, community-based, and educational programs. Themes include but are not limited to, sustenance, protection, feminism, immobility, nesting, community, sustainability, home, rural, courage, motherhood, nutrition, and generosity.  

Occurring at a variety of outdoor locations throughout the city of Raleigh, an assortment of creative and educational performances, exhibits, lectures, and workshops will happen on-site at the coop. Community meals created off-side by guest chefs using eggs produced by the hens will compare ideas of creative and educational nourishment to food-related nourishment.


Date Location Description
July 5 - August 8 Raleigh City Farm Hen Institute’s next stop will be at Raleigh City Farm, a nonprofit urban farm founded in 2011 whose mission is to connect and nourish their community through regenerative agriculture. Throughout the month there will be various creative and educational projects happening on-site. The eggs that the chickens produce will be donated to A Place at the Table, Raleigh's only pay-what-you-can café, and Raleigh City Farm's Farmshare partner.

July 31, 9:30 a.m.

Raleigh City Farm

Join the Triangle Families Explore Adventure Club for a fun morning on the farm.The morning will start with a 30 minute family yoga and movement class designed to engage little ones, move your bodies, and have fun as a family. Yoga will be followed by story time and a take home craft. Learn more and register

August 1 - 7 Raleigh City Farm

An installation by Cristal Zeballos at Hen Institute of the Bolivian Alasitas festival, an event that sells miniature manifestations for offering and blessing to the Ekeko figure, the Bolivian God of Abundance for good fortune and prosperity. One of these representative figures is that of a chicken, which serves as a physical embodiment and vessel for your manifestations; a visual reminder of the values, wishes, and goals to put in the forefront of our thoughts. Learn more about the installation

August 7, 10:30 a.m. Raleigh City Farm Bring a blanket or a chair and listen to chicken themed stories, songs, and rhymes to get those wiggles out with local librarian Miss Melissa. Learn more

Visit Hen Institute's website to learn more about upcoming programs, curate or produce an educational, artistic, or community-based project on-site, or request a visit by Hen Institute in your own neighborhood!

About the Artist

Hen Institute is created by Adam Carlin, a curator, arts administrator, and social practice artist that lives and works in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is currently the Director of Greensboro Project Space, an off-campus contemporary art center at the University of North Carolina - Greensboro, and Director of Community Engagement for UNCG’s College of Visual and Performing Arts where he creates and supports community-engaged programs and advances partnerships between the college and the community. He is also a lecturer at UNCG in the Interdisciplinary Art and Social Practice program. Carlin is also co-founder and co-director of Creek Colleges, an organization that creates schools on the banks of rivers, lakes, and creeks that are going through active restoration. His work often takes the form of institutes as artworks that enact projects which highlight under-recognized histories, idiosyncratic activities, and public dynamics. Participation and collaboration are integral to his practice and he often works site and situation-specifically.  He has a BFA from California College of the Arts and an MFA in Art and Social Practice from Portland State University. Carlin has curated public programs or was a guest lecturer at places like the Queens Museum, Universität der Künste Berlin, UMass Dartmouth, Portland City Hall, Elsewhere Living Museum, ZERO1 Museum, San Francisco Art Institute, Georgia State University, and The Mondavi Center at UC Davis.

Learn more about Adam Carlin's work



Kelly McChesney
Public Art Director

Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Service Categories:
Raleigh Arts
Board, Commission or Committee:
Arts Commission



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