The Orange County Arts Commission is the Local Arts Agency for Orange County, NC, and the Designated County Partner to the North Carolina Arts Council since 1985. Our mission is to promote and strengthen the artistic and cultural development of Orange County, North Carolina. We are also the manager of the Eno Arts Mill, a multi-purpose arts space in Hillsborough, NC.

We believe the arts are critical to mental and physical wellbeing, enhance community character and quality of life, and spur economic vitality. Creative expression is a fundamental right for all people and we seek to lift up and support all voices in our community.


In order to submit an application or register, you need to first create a Submittable account.  If you need assistance, please contact Katie Murray at or 919-245-2335. 


Art of the Book: Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions by Daniel Wallace

Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions was the first novel by Daniel Wallace, Chapel Hill writer and J. Ross MacDonald Distinguished Professor of English at UNC-Chapel Hill. Released in 1998, Big Fish tells the story of William Bloom, a young man trying to reconcile the tall tales told to him throughout his life by his father Edward. The story captured hearts and was adapted into the Oscar-nominated film Big Fish in 2003 by Tim Burton. A musical adaptation starring Tony Award winner Norbert Leo Butz premiered in Chicago in April, 2013. The novel has now been translated into 25 languages. 

The Orange County Arts Commission and Orange County Public Library invite regional artists to apply to “Art of the Book: Big Fish” exhibits coming August, 2024, to the Eno Arts Mill Gallery and the Orange County Public Library in Hillsborough.  Artists 18+ will be featured at the Eno Arts Mill, while youth participants will be on exhibit at the library. 

The youth application will open July 1. Check back for more information. 



  • Application window  Friday, May 10 through Friday, May 31, 11:59PM
  • Accepted artists notified  No later than Monday, June 10
  • Artwork details due to OCAC  Monday, July 22, 5PM
  • Artwork drop off  Tuesday, July 30th, 12-7PM 
  • Show opening  Friday, August 2nd, 6-9PM
  • Show dates Friday, August 2nd – Saturday, August 31st 
  • Unsold artwork pick up Tuesday, September 3rd, 12-7PM


  • Open to visual artists 18+ currently living in Orange and adjacent counties (Durham, Chatham, Caswell, Person and Alamance).
  • All submissions must be received through the online application portal by Friday, May 31, 11:59PM.
  • Applicants will submit a concept proposal inspired by a passage from the book as well as work samples that reflect the medium and style of the proposed concept piece. 
  • A jury panel will evaluate applications (all identifying information will be redacted) based on relevant work samples and how the proposed submission reflects the selected passage. Panelists will evaluate work samples based on artistic excellence, visual impact, and creativity. They will also evaluate the proposed concept, its relation to the book, and the feasibility of the proposed work including public safety, durability, and space required.
  • A diverse pool of artists of all styles and mediums will be selected and each artist will create one piece of work for the exhibit.

Selected artists:

  • Will submit one work for the exhibit. An image of the work with the title, size, medium, edition (if applicable), and price is required. Images should be a minimum 300 resolution.
  • Must sign the Eno Arts Mill Participating Artist Agreement
  • All mediums are allowed, including two and three-dimensional works and installation
  • All work must be for sale
  • The Friends of Orange County Public Library have committed to a Purchase Award up to $1,000
  • Works on paper and canvases less than 1″ thick must be properly framed and wired (no sawtooth hangers)
  • No living animals are allowed as part of the exhibit.
  • If project significantly evolves or deviates from the proposed concept, artist must contact OCAC to discuss adjustments. OCAC reserves the right to determine if the changes can be accommodated.
  • WORK SOLD: For all work sold, the Orange County Arts Alliance (on behalf of the Orange County Arts Commission) will retain a 40% commission (30% commission for Eno Arts Mill Studio Artists). The OCAA will collect all monies from the sale of artwork, including tax, through the end of August. Artists will receive payment by September 30. 
  • UNSOLD WORK: Artists must pick up their work on Tuesday, September 3rd, 12-7PM. After December 31, 2024, remaining work will become property of the OCAA.
  • Artists agree to allow the OCAC/OCAA use of images of artwork and associated events for promotional purposes (credit will be given).


  • A $500 Author’s Award will be selected by Daniel Wallace and announced at the show opening on August 2. 
  • A $100 People’s Choice Award will be voted on by the public throughout the exhibit and announced in early September. 


  • Check it out from the Orange County Public Library (residents of adjacent counties can register for a free library card) or your local library
  • Download the book for free on hoopla with your library card
  • The Eno Arts Mill will have copies on loan 
  • Purchase a copy from your local book store

The Eno Arts Mill is located within the historic Eno Mill in the West Hillsborough neighborhood. The Orange County Arts Commission (OCAC) currently occupies two spaces with artist studios, located close to each other within the mill:

  • The Eno Mill Artist Studios are 11 studios within a 3,000 square-foot working space. Click here to view a map.  
  • Suite 17 includes the OCAC offices, a classroom, gallery/events space, and 5 offices/studios available to artists and/or cultural organizations.  Click here to view a map. 

All studios include 24/7 access (workspace only), wifi, utilities, opportunities to exhibit work, communal gathering and workspace, and access to a loading dock and restrooms. Both spaces are on the first floor of the mill.

Applications are accepted from artists, designers, and craftspeople looking to further their professional careers through dedicated studio practice. Studios will be awarded based on criteria listed below.

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.

Tenant Selection Considerations

  • The OCAC seeks to represent a variety of artistic disciplines.
  • The OCAC seeks to include artists of varying levels in their career.
  • The OCAC seeks to include artists of varying ages, races, and backgrounds.
  • Will this person’s practice work within the space available? 
  • Does this person already have a place to work?
  • Will this person use the space regularly? Will they participate in open studios and other public events?

Important Information

  • Filling out an application does not guarantee studio space.
  • The Mill Studios are work only, we do not provide live-work spaces (however this is a possibility in coming years).
  • A security deposit of one month’s rent plus first month’s rent, which may be pro-rated, are due at lease signing.
  • To ensure the safety and security of all tenants, accepted tenants must be willing to undergo a criminal background check.
  • 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. The OCAC can connect you with a local insurance agent to assist you, if needed.  
  • Tenants are required to sign a one-year lease which may be renewed annually for up to three years. 
  • Tenants are required to agree to our Tenant Agreement Code of Conduct.
  • For studios that do not have access to natural light, interior lighting has been installed which mimics natural light (5,000 kelvins).
  • 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. Preservatives/solvents including turpentine, ammonia, sodium fluoride, phenol or mercury compounds, as well as spray paint/spray fixative and dry pigments are not allowed. 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.
  • The studios are visual artists only; however, the classrooms and gallery can be rented for musical performance and/or rehearsal.
  • Tenants must possess awareness of the health, safety, and hospitable working environment of other artist tenants and a respect for the upkeep and preservation of the facilities. This includes but is not limited to noise pollution (eg: loud equipment and music), use of toxic materials, and the use and proper disposal of studio waste (eg: solvent soaked rags, hot wax, turpentine, acetone, etc) and keeping common areas clean. Artists will also avoid unsolicited critiques and only offer feedback when asked.
  •  Pets are not allowed.

The Orange County Arts Commission (OCAC) and Orange County Office of Equity and Inclusion present Orange County's Juneteenth Kickoff Celebration on Friday, June 14, 6-9pm at the Eno Arts Mill in Hillsborough.

Important Dates

  • Application Deadline: Friday, May 31, 11:59PM EST
  • Notifications emailed: No later than Wednesday, June 5

Event Summary Local Black artists, crafters and artisans of all types are invited to apply to Orange County's Juneteenth Kickoff Celebration on Friday, June 14, 6-9pm at the Eno Arts Mill. The Eno Arts Mill is a multipurpose arts space that includes a gallery, classroom, and 17 artist studios. In addition to the show vendors, the event will feature live music, kids' activities, food trucks and more. 

General Information All vendors must submit an online application with images to be considered. No both fees will be charged and no commission of sales will be collected. Vendors residing in Orange County will be given preference, but artists within the Triangle and surrounding communities are encouraged to apply. Only a small number of vendors will be selected due to space limitations.

Venue Information 

Location: Eno Arts Mill: 437 Dimmocks Mill Road, Suite 17, Hillsborough, NC, 27278. 

Please note, all vendors will be located outdoors. 

Public Admission: Free 

Parking: Ample parking for both vendors and the public is available around the Eno Arts Mill. Handicapped parking is available immediately in front of the space, and automatic door openers provide easy access for those with mobility concerns. Vendors will be able to pull cars close to their spot for loading/unloading.

Electricity: Not available.

Load In: Due to summer camp programming, load-in will not be available until 5pm. 

Allowed Mediums 

All vendors must offer handmade/homegrown art, crafts, and goods including:

  • Pottery/ceramics
  • Consumables (candles, lotions, soaps, jams and jellies, etc.)
  • Digital Art
  • Drawings
  • Fiber/Leather goods (including fashion, textiles, and clothing)
  • Furniture
  • Glass
  • Jewelry
  • Mixed Media
  • Painting  
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Wood
  • Plants and vegetables


APPLICATION PROCESS: All artists who wish to participate must submit an online application with images by Friday, May 31 at 11:59PM. Accepted artists will be notified by Wednesday, June 3.  Artists working in more than one medium must submit images of each medium for approval.

INCLEMENT WEATHER: This is a “rain or shine” event. In the case of hazardous weather, the OCAC will consider needs of participants and the public in making any decision about cancellation or delayed opening. Should an artist choose to leave before the end of the event, future involvement in OCAC events will be jeopardized. 

SECURITY: Artists are required to have representation at their booth at all times. Orange County is not responsible for any artwork, supplies, or other items left unattended in your booth or on festival grounds. 


  • Vendors are required to provide their own tent, table(s), chairs and set-up equipment. The OCAC will not have extra to loan. 
  • Booth signage must not extend beyond the footprint of the booth and be professional in appearance.
  • Participating artists are required to stay throughout the entire event. Early break-down is not allowed.
  • Tent weights are required. Tents without weights will not be permitted. 
  • All vendors must be set up by 5:45pm. Vendors arriving after this time will not be allowed to set up.
Orange County Arts Commission