Philadelphia is the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Reading Terminal Market, and National Constitution Center. Philadelphia is all about the Love Statue, Rocky Steps, Cheesesteaks, and Tastykakes.

Philadelphia also is a thriving and broad arts scene.  A must visit for the arts scene is the Philadelphia Magic Gardens.

Isaiah Zagar

To experience these “gardens” it is helpful to know the story behind the artist: Isaiah Zagar. Mr. Zagar, primarily a mosaic artist, cared about his neighborhood and the streetscape.  He beautified abandoned and blighted city lots with mosaic art made from objects others disposed of.

Zagar built the multi-layer walls out of objects he found throughout the city. When the lot owner discovered what was built, he wanted it dismantled, but at that point the community was behind the artist. Legal battles occurred but in the end the Magic Garden is still there.

Philadelphia Magic Gardens

Walking around this art-space makes me feel optimistic.  Looking broadly through the “garden” is realizing how funky this place is.  Looking closely shows how someone’s garbage – their landfill items – can turn into an aesthetically pleasing structure.  That is optimism.  Zero waste.


Art Space

Philadelphia Magic Garden has a great display space for artwork.

One that really caught my eye (and head) is called Heads on a Platter.

Philadelphia Magic Garden display 1

It is made from Phoenix foundry form, instrument parts, chair legs, disc, rubber, nails, cloth, clay, and paint.

Another wild piece:

Philadelphia Magic Garden display 2

If you are in Philly, head on over to South Street and visit the Philadelphia Magic Garden. You might consider buying tickets ahead of time as they do sell out on pretty much every nice day in season.

Thanks for reading, and if you interested in more Philly posts, check out:

And some Philadelphia Restaurant reviews: