A mesmerizing world of glistening mosaics and wacky artworks await at Philly’s Magic Gardens!
Tucked away in South Street, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens are one of the city’s most creative and best-kept secrets. This curious network of paths and tunnels, which has been adorned head to toe with whimsical mosaics and other wacky artworks, holds a wondrous world of art for any Philadelphian who dares to enter its galleries and tunnels.
The Magic Gardens were created in the 60s when artist Isaiah Zagar began using handmade tiles, bottles, bicycle wheels, mirror shards, and folk art to chronicle his life and influences. Zagar first began his work when he moved to the area with his wife, Julia, and never stopped.
In fact, Zagar’s work helped revitalize the area by renovating derelict buildings and covering them in bright and beautiful mosaics. His work alongside that of his wife and other local artists and activists gave way to a period of artistic prosperity in the neighborhood that became known as the “South Side Renaissance.”
Nowadays, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens is comprised of two indoor galleries as well as a bi-level outdoor sculpture garden in which you can admire Zagar’s fantastic creations. As a non-profit museum, the Gardens look to celebrate art in its many forms through community outreach, public programs, hands-on activities, exhibitions, and tours.
The Magic Gardens recently reopened its doors after a long closure due to COVID-19 restrictions and is currently operating at reduced capacity Wednesday through Monday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Of course, the art space has also implemented new safety measures to ensure visitor safety which include the mandatory use of masks, enhanced cleaning protocols and social distancing among others. Tickets must also be reserved ahead of time on their website as there are no on-site ticket sales to help control capacity and reduce contact.
So if you happen to wander off to the South Street corridor make sure to pop in by for a visit and take a journey through the fabulous mind of the artist that helped turn Philly’s South Street into a colorful and vibrant haven for art!
[Featured image: Twitter / @GiftedTawk]