Currently, I’m in Philadelphia for a trade show and I was able to explore with my boss. We ended up going to the Liberty Bell and then seeing Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens has been on my bucket list ever since I ran across an Instagram picture a few years ago. Since I was in the area, it was the perfect opportunity to go.
A Brief History of Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens
Back in 1968, a plot of land was going to be demolished and turned into an expressway. This was right around the time Isiah and Julia Zagar moved into the area. They decided to protest by creating a giant mosaic. Fast forward to 2008, the area was opened up to the public as a way to inspire creativity and community engagement. The collection includes handmade tiles, bottles, bicycle wheels, mirror, and international folk art to chronicle Zagar’s life and influences. The space is made up of two indoor galleries and a bi-level outdoor sculpture garden.
About Isiah Zagar: the Man Behind the Art
Isiah is an award-winning mosaic artist that has created over 200 murals on public walls throughout Philadelphia and beyond. In the mid-1960s, Isiah and his wife were in the peace corps working with folk artists in the Puno region near Lake Titicaca. He even has a movie about himself – In a Dream.
My Take Away
I was completely blown away by the entire thing. I can imagine my kitchen walls looking exactly like this mosaic masterpiece. Going into the garden, I didn’t expect so many different tunnels, stairs, and bridges. The entire space is incredibly captivating with little words throughout. It’s actually very hard to capture it all at once. I highly, highly recommend stopping by if you are in Philadelphia.
Claes Gabriel and Andrew Chalfen Exhibit
While I was visiting, there was an exhibit inside the building featuring abstract paintings and drawings with bold colors. It was such an eye-catching displace that kept you guessing. This particular exhibit will be running until April 28th.
On the left is a photo of a mural we found walking around in the area. On the right is a picture of the outside building. Both are incredibly captivating. (The picture above is my pin from the
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Have you ever been to Philadelphia or Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens? Do you like abstract art like this? Any Philadelphia