Magic Garden

The South Street Garden, Zagar’s “opus” is located between 10th and 11th Streets at 1020 South Street. It takes up three lots.

It was begun in 1994 and is a work in progress.

Visiting on a Thursday, we almost had the gardens to ourselves. I would imagine it gets busier on weekends!

Gosh, people just have to see this!!! 🙂
It seems this photo of the staircase CAN be clicked on for a larger view, not sure how that came about????
So imagine, you are not only looking up, over and around, you are walking ON mosaics. The tiles and mirrors have all been buffed so no one gets hurt.


Birds like to nest in the nooks and crannies, we noticed a cat wandering as well

Having done canvases, Isaiah said they became too confining.

He experienced great relief in creating with no boundaries.

He just needs to embellish – my kinda guy! It

is also interesting to note that because he uses cement/mortar (often tinted beautiful colors) to stick things together, things can not be removed easily, so he has to be content with how it turns out.


garden10*click pics for a closer look*

Now visiting was awesome enough, but we had the distinct pleasure of meeting the artist, Mr Zagar himself. He autographed his book for us and drew two bottles, one with my initial “P” the other with my sweetie’s initial “J”, he joined them at the bottom and wrote “in cement”. I was too shy and blown away to have my picture taken with him, but I’m sure he would not have minded, such a delightful man! He was on his way to lunch.

I asked my husband afterwards if I made any sense at all talking to Isaiah….and how would he know…. he was equally blown away by the majesty of it all.

I was star struck!

I do remember saying while spreading my arms wide, that it all ‘speaks’ (maybe I said “screams”, I was excited) of freedom! He smiled and nodded.

His lovely wife, Julia, has run the Eyes Gallery at 402 South Street for more than 30 years importing wonderful goods from Latin America. They have an amazing and varied Frida collection of stuff to buy along with a few of my other passions mermaids, India, Day of the Dead and more!

Oftentimes when clay pieces would arrive broken or damaged, Isaiah would rescue them and use them in his creations. Oh, you don’t want to miss a shopping stop there!If you have the time, highlighted words can be clicked on for more information. There is just too much to tell!

So I guess it goes without saying,

if you are ever in Philadelphia or anywhere close by, you simply must go to see it all for yourself.

Isaiah has murals all over Philadelphia, LOTS of them. As he has said for many years:

“Philadelphia is the Center of the Art World/ Art is the Center of the Real World.” ~Isaiah Zagar

If you’d like a mini ‘visit’ with the artist, here’s your chance.

7 responses to “Magic Garden

  1. you lucky duck!!! i think i have a book where the magic garden and other innovative houses and gardens and whatever are featured. need to dig for it. haven’t been to philly yet, definitely fascinating. thanks so much for sharing. will be clicking my way away 🙂


  2. OMG…. what a fabulous adventure and such an assault on your creative senses Patty! You lucky girl! Thank you so much for sharing your adventure. When we retire, DH and I plan to come to the US every year for 4 or 5 months to avoid the cr***y winters here, so South Philly will definitely be on our list. We are going to live in an RV for the entire time we spend abroad, every year… I hear the gipsy tambourines you see!!


  3. Wow, what an amazing place!! These are incredible creations…I want to do this to my house!! Love it and thanks for sharing your photos!!


  4. I am so blown away by this … nearly speechless. Thank you, thank you for sharing it … I’m hoping to travel north in Oct 2010 … you can bet if I am able to make the trip a reality I will definitely plan a whole day there to explore.


  5. Oh how cool Patty!!! This will be so much fun to visit! I’ve done some mosaic myself, in fact I have lots of pieces cut and broken for it that I will probably have to get rid of before we move….


  6. Pingback: ana’s friday archive dive: favorite post | Magpie's Nest ~*~ Patty Szymkowicz

  7. Pingback: Quirky Dutch Summer #5 Mosaic / Mozaïek | Magpie's Nest ~*~ Patty Szymkowicz

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts means a lot to me and I appreciate your visit very much oxo

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