ART MILL STUDIOS
The Art Mill Studios are located in a 2,970 square foot space within Hillsborough’s historic Eno Mill. The mill is located in West Hillsborough, within walking distance to neighborhood restaurants and shops. It currently features nine private studios with two additional studios being created in late June. This is the first phase of plans for the Eno Mill; scroll to the bottom of this page to read more.
- 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 can be scheduled. Email us at arts (at) orangecountync.gov to set up a time.
- APPLICATION: We are currently accepting applications through Sunday, July 12 with a target move-in date of August 1. Priority will be given to artists of color. The application must be submitted through our online portal here.
- LEASE: Accepted artists will be required to sign a one-year lease with the Orange County Arts Commission and agree to a background check.
Q: What is the rent?
A: Rental rates start at $275 for a single space. See specific rates on the map below.
Q: What are the rental terms?
A: A one-year lease is required.
Q: What is included?
A: Your studio at the Eno Mill includes the following:
- All utilities and wifi
- 24/7 secure access
- Exhibit space in gathering spaces of studios and in beautifully restored hallways outside of the space
- Shared common space including a workroom with counter space and cabinet storage, kitchen, and gathering space
- Weekly janitorial service (communal spaces only)
- Kitchen featuring refrigerator, microwave, and coffee maker
- Water cooler
- Small teaching space in workroom (see map below) – not currently available due to COVID-19
- OCAC-hosted monthly open studio reception in conjunction with Last Friday ArtWalk – not currently available due to COVID-19
Q: What types of artists are you looking for?
A: The OCAC wishes to highlight the voices of marginalized communities by inviting artists of color to apply for studio space. While any artist is invited to apply, we will be prioritizing these applicants while we fill the remaining studio spaces. In addition, we are 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 allows 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.
- 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
Q: What precautions have been put in place in response to COVID-19?
A: The opening of the mill studios unfortunately aligned with the outbreak of COVID-19 in March. As a result, we slowed the move-in of tenants into the mill until we felt that we better understood the virus and how it is spread. Only two tenants occupied the space during the month of April; in May, a total five tenants have occupied the space. Orange County provides a weekly deep cleaning of all surfaces in communal spaces of the studios and all tenants are required to follow the use of any shared equipment or surfaces with disinfecting wipes. Masks are required while in communal spaces such as the kitchen and restrooms. Classes are not allowed in the space until further notice and monthly opening receptions have been cancelled for the foreseeable future.
Q: Will the OCAC help promote me and my work?
A: The primary purpose of our artist studios is work space, however we do want help make the public aware of our artists, especially since COVID-19 will prevent face-to-face receptions for the foreseeable future. We are currently in the process of creating a page on our website dedicated to our studio artists and will be featuring artists through our monthly enews (3,000 subscribers), as well as through our social media accounts (@OCNCarts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram).
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. Interested in the plans for the mill? Check out our Eno Mill slideshow for more information!