The Orange County Arts Commission (OCAC), in collaboration with The Gold Family and its partner, Hedgehog Holdings, seeks to activate Hillsborough’s historic Eno River Mill through the arts, providing a critical need for the creative community of Orange County, as well as generating economic impact for the surrounding area. This undertaking will take place in phases, beginning with artist studio spaces, and eventually providing possible spaces such as performing arts space, arts-retail space, and a variety of maker spaces.
PHASE ONE: ART MILL STUDIOS
The Art Mill Studios are former offices located in a 2,970 square foot, former office space. It features private and communal studio space for up to 13 artists at affordable prices. The beautifully restored exposed brick and hardwood hallway just outside of the space will allow for exhibit space for tenants.
Following our first round of tours in December, improvements have been made to the space based on feedback we received from artists during the tours. These improvements include the following:
- All carpet has been removed
- An exhaust fan is being installed
- The larger spaces have been divided into individual spaces with lockable doors (see map below)
Additionally, the offices of the Orange County Arts Commission will be moving to the mill directly across the hall from the Mill Studios.
- FAQ’s: Please review our Frequently Asked Questions below to determine if the Mill Studios are the right fit for you.
- TOURS: Tours for artists will be offered January 30, 31 and February 3. Please note these tours are only for artists seeking studio space; general interest and media tours will be offered at the later date. Tour registration is required. Please register for a tour here.
- APPLICATION: The studio application will be open February 3 through midnight on February 17. The application is web-based; the link to the application will be provided on this webpage prior to February 3. If you applied during the first application period, you do not need to reapply.
- LEASE: Accepted artists will be required to sign a one-year lease with the Orange County Arts Commission and agree to a background check.
- MOVE-IN: Spaces will be available for move-in as of March 1 following the completion of the lease contract.
Q: What is the rent?
A: Rental rates start at $200 for a shared space. See specific rates on the map below.
Q: What are the rental terms?
A: A one-year lease is required.
Q: What types of artists are you looking for?
A: The OCAC is looking for creatives who:
- Are community-minded and will benefit from a co-working, semiprivate studio environment
- Display commitment to their craft through an existing body of work
- Create original work
- Are willing to participate in monthly public events, such as Last Friday Art Walk. The space will not be open to the general public other than during special events and by appointment with studio tenants.
Q: What factors are being considered in selecting artists?
A: Tenant Selection Considerations
Will this person’s practice work within the space available?
The OCAC seeks to represent a variety of artistic disciplines.
The OCAC seeks to include artists of varying levels in their career.
Does this person already have a place to work?
Will this person use the space regularly? Will they participate in monthly open studios and other public events?
Q: Why is a background check required?
A: For the security and safety of all artist-tenants.
Q: Are there certain hours I have to be in my studio?
A: No, as these studios are not open to the public other than during monthly open studio tours. However, we want the studios to be utilized regularly by our artist-tenants.
Q: Can I access the studio at any time?
A: Yes, a key system will allow you secure access 24/7.
Q: How much insurance is required?
A: All tenants must hold a minimum $1M general liability policy showing Orange County and Hedgehog Holdings as additional insured. You can anticipate this costing between $200-$500 per year, or approximately $20-$50 per month. Certificate of Insurance must be on file before keys are given.
Q: Is there a limit to the number of years I can renew my lease?
A: This is unknown as of right now but we are tentatively putting a three-year lease limit on the studios. The purpose of our studios is to provide affordable space for artists who do not have a home studio or alternate space. In three years, there may be more arts space available and the demand not as high. In that event, we will remove the three-year limit. If studio space is still at a premium, we want to make sure others have the opportunity to use the space.
Q: Is there natural light?
A: There is one very large window at one end of the studio that filters into the common spaces and Space 9 (see map below). The majority of the spaces do not have natural light, however, new lighting fixtures have been installed that mimic natural light (5,000 kelvins).
Q: What chemicals are not allowed?
A: Equipment or materials that produce excessive fumes requiring special ventilation, smoke, fire, excessive dust, noise, or permanent damage to the facilities are not appropriate for this space. If you work with any of these materials, please talk to us about other spaces in the mill that may be more appropriate for these art forms. These following chemicals will not be allowed in the Mill Studios:
- Preservatives/solvents including turpentine, ammonia, sodium fluoride, phenol or mercury compounds. Only low-odor or odor-free mineral spirits are allowed. All solvent-soaked rags must be placed in a self-closing waste disposal can and emptied on a regular basis.
- Spray paint or spray fixatives
- Dry pigments
Q: What else isn’t allowed?
A: For the safety and enjoyment of all tenants, the studios will prohibit the following:
- Loud music. Artists are asked to wear headphones while listening to music.
- Unsolicited critiques. Please offer opinions of your fellow artists’ work only if asked.
- Smoking anywhere inside the building.
- Pets, with the exception of service animals.
- Sleeping overnight or using the studio as a storage facility.
- Messiness. All tenants are expected to clean up after themselves and leave common areas clean and uncluttered.
Q: What will be required from me if I’m selected as a tenant?
A: The following items are required if accepted:
- Completed background check
- Certificate of liability insurance naming Orange County and Hedgehog Holdings as additional insured
- A security deposit of one month’s rent plus first month’s rent, which may be pro-rated, are due at lease signing
Interested in the plans for the mill? Check out our Eno Mill slideshow for more information!