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Now entering its 15th year, the N22 Open Studios is going from strength to strength. Over the November weekend, there are more than a hundred artists with work to display. This ranges from large scale metal sculpture to cushions and quilts, with almost everything imaginable in between. There are painters, cartoonists, and printmakers, and this year, the musicians will be joining in too. Usually hidden away behind a mixing desk, they’ll be opening their doors to patrons for an exclusive peek into a working music studio, and giving performances throughout the weekend.

2012’s event saw the artwork spilling over onto the street, with a series of giant-sized photographic portraits installed on Coburg Road. Part of the global ‘Inside Out’ project, these photographs were taken by young people working with multi-media artist Karen Whiteread. Against the odds, the portraits managed to remain up and in good condition for over six months, serving as a reminder to locals of everything great going on at the Chocolate Factory.

Along with a chance to see, buy, and commission artwork, visitors have the opportunity to be entered into a draw to win fantastic free prizes from the Chocolate Factory Artists. Last year, hundreds of people put their names down for a chance to have their portrait captured by celebrated oil painter, Sadie Lee. Sadie accepts a limited number of commissions per year, which enable her to continue with her own projects. Forming part of her annual “Patrons” series, the lucky competition winner will have their portrait unveiled this November, along with other art lovers whose support has made Sadie’s work possible. This year’s prize is just as exciting, with Collage Arts offering up to £350 off your favourite piece of artwork. All you need to do to win is join the mailing list, so be sure to sign up!

The Open Studios always brings the crowds in, and in attendance last year was 10-year-old art enthusiast Shay, who was keen not to leave without spending his pocket money. Eventually choosing a print by Matthew Green, Shay was delighted to go home with his first piece of art, and a promise to return annually. The print, Pickle Brain, is humorous and thoughtful, and above all, an absolute bargain, perfectly representing the kind of art on offer at the N22 Open Studios.

Adding to the excitement, 2013 will see Collage Arts collaborating with the renowned disability arts organisation, Shape London. Their annual Open is a celebration of the important work they do bringing disability-led arts into the public imagination, and giving under-appreciated artists a chance to exhibit. As part of their schedule they’ll be bringing some incredible work for display at Karamel, and auctioning off even more, with proceeds going to the artists involved. For almost four decades, Shape has been at the forefront of promoting access to culture and inclusiveness in the arts for all sectors of society, making them an ideal charity partner for the N22 Open Studios.

It’s not just the fine arts though and, with a whole host of designers and makers too, there’s lots to fall in love with. Whether you’re looking to brighten up the house, or for the crucial missing Christmas gift, there really is something at the Chocolate Factory to suit every taste and budget.

The Chocolate Factory continues to be a vibrant hub of cutting-edge design, product development and creativity. But we also have a number of artists who use more traditional approaches and techniques. There is a directory of all the creatives based at Chocolate Factory. Don’t forget many of artists are delighted to undertake commissions.

In addition we set up a permanent shop in the Karamel restaurant at the Chocolate Factory with a supply of gift ideas and cards from our designer makers and artists. We also have six exhibitions a year at Karamel featuring the work of our visual artists.

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The Chocolate Factories in Wood Green, London N22, are a landmark development and hub of excellence for the creative industries in the UK.

The project started in 1996 when Collage Arts, an arts development agency, moved into the Chocolate Factory on Clarendon Road and converted several derelict floors of the Factory into artist studios.

What followed was a high demand for creative space and in 2002, Collage Arts renovated Chocolate Factory 2 on Coburg Road, next door.

Visit our studios page to see available spaces at the Chocolate Factory read more