The Orange County Arts Commission serves as a clearinghouse for arts information, facilitator of arts programs and advisor to the Orange County Board of County Commissioners regarding the arts. We have been the Designated County Partner (DCP) of the North Carolina Arts Council in Orange County since 1985 and are responsible for sub-granting state and county funds to arts organizations, schools and artists throughout the county. Our mission is to promote and strengthen the artistic and cultural development of Orange County, North Carolina.

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. 

Call for Submissions

Orange County visual artists and poets are invited to apply for participation in "Coalesce" an exhibition at the Eno Arts Mill Gallery scheduled for January, 2023. Ten selected poets and ten selected visual artists will be paired for collaboration. Each poet will write a new poem based on one artwork, and each artist will create a new artwork based on one poem, all of which will be displayed throughout the month in the main gallery.


  • All submissions are due by 11:59pm on Saturday, October 1, 2022.
  • Open to artists and poets currently living in Orange County. 
  • This is a blind selection process and all identifying information will be hidden.
  • All selected poets and artists will receive a $100 honorarium.  
  • Poets will have the option of reading their work aloud at the exhibit opening on Friday, January 6, 2023, 6-9pm at the Eno Arts Mill.

Visual Artists

  • May submit up to two representative work samples (they do not need to be works you plan to submit for the exhibit). An image list with the title, size, medium, year, edition, and price is required. Images should be a minimum 300 resolution.
  • All mediums are allowed
  • All work submitted for the exhibit must be for sale
  • Two and three-dimensional works allowed
  • There are no size limitations
  • Works on paper and canvases less than 1″ thick must be properly framed and wired (no sawtooth hangers)
  • WORK SOLD: For all work sold, the Orange County Arts Alliance (on behalf of the Orange County Arts Commission) will retain a 40% commission. The OCAA will collect all monies from the sale of artwork, including tax, through the end of January. Artists will receive payment within 30 days of the show's conclusion. 
  • UNSOLD WORK: Artists may donate unsold artwork to the OCAA or pick up their work the first week of February. 
  • The artist is responsible for insurance of artwork. The OCAC/OCAA will make their best effort to assure the security of the artwork in the Eno Arts Mill Gallery.
  • Artists agree to allow the OCAC/OCAA use of images of artwork for promotional purposes (credit will be given).


  • May submit up to two representative works of any genre, no more than 500 words each
  • Selected writers will be invited to read their works at the exhibit opening on Friday, January 6, 2023. 
  • Artists agree to allow the OCAC/OCAA to promote selected works through social media and the OCAC website (credit will be given)
  • Selected works will be displayed in the gallery during the exhibit.

"Coalesce" is curated by writer Morrow Dowdle and Eno Arts Mill Gallery coordinator and visual artist Max Dowdle.

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.
  •  Allowance of pets is to be determined by selected artist group. All artists must agree to the presence of pets, otherwise, they will not be allowed.
  • A 30% commission will be collected by the OCAC for work sold in public exhibit spaces.
Orange County Arts Commission