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Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens is a nonprofit folk art environment and gallery at the site of Isaiah Zagar’s largest public mosaic installation. Zagar is an award-winning mosaic muralist whose work can be found on over 200 public walls throughout Philadelphia and around the globe. He began working on the Magic Gardens in 1994, transforming the vacant lots next to his studio into a wonderland of found objects. Layers of handmade tiles, sculptures, plates, mirrors, glass bottles, bicycle wheels, chains and other non-traditional materials line the floors, walls and ceilings, creating staircases and forming tunnels along the grounds. The space soon became a beloved neighborhood art environment. In 2002, increasing property values brought the land owner back to Philadelphia with intention to demolish the gardens and sell the lots. The community was quick to jump in and support Zagar, raising the funds needed to incorporate the space as the nonprofit organization it is today.

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens is dedicated to preserving Zagar’s work. As a part of their mission to inspire and engage the community, PMG offers visitors guided tours of the gardens and Zagar’s surrounding public murals, as well as educational and hands-on workshops, craft nights, and local outreach programs. We spent hours touring the spaces and taking in the beautiful and quirky details. There is so much to look at! Click through the photo gallery below and have a glimpse at some of the art. We highly recommend this spot and hope you’ll add it to your “Must Visit In Philadelphia” list.

For more information, visit http://www.phillymagicgardens.org

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