In a city with no shortage of innovative art, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens stand out as one of the most breathtaking art spaces in town. This art museum and gallery space spans half a block on 10th and South Street and features mosaic floors, ceilings, and walls covered with unique materials like folk art statues, bicycle wheels, colorful glass bottles, pieces of mirrors, hand-made tiles, and random found objects. This space also hosts rotating exhibits and special programs for artists, students, and other visitors.
Our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers think the Magic Gardens are a must-see attraction. We recently visited here and thought we’d share some of our favorite parts of this unique immersive art space.
Lava Flow: New Mosaics by Isaiah Zagar
Lava Flow: New Mosaics by the creator of the Gardens, artist Isaiah Zagar, is the current featured exhibition, running through February 25th, 2018. It features a comprehensive display of the prominent mosaic artist’s collection, showing how his artwork has changed. Visitors can gain insight into the artist’s creative process, and how his process has evolved throughout his illustrious career.
A short documentary about Zagar’s life accompanies the exhibit, which will give you an even closer look into his inspiration, artistic development, and the conception of Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. The mosaic pieces in this exhibit are also all available for purchase.
PECO Family Jams
PECO Family Jams are held every second Sunday of the month from noon until 4 p.m. These are programs designed for families, which feature hands-on workshops where you can create your own garden-inspired art, and free tours for adults and kids at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Some past programs held for Family Jams include:
- Mini mosaics
- Watercolor paintings
In January 2018, there will be another mini-mosaic workshop on Sunday, the 14th.
Twilight in the Gardens
The Magic Gardens host a Twilight in the Garden series every fourth Friday from April through October. Guests are invited to enjoy musical performances, guided art workshops, and mini-tours. You’re also encouraged to “BBYOBS” (Bring Your Own Booze, Blanket, and Snacks) for this picnic in a mosaicked wonderland.
The Museum as Muse
The Gardens open specifically for artists from 6-9 p.m., allowing them to create in this inspiring space without the crowds of tourists blocking their views of the art. This program is free for museum members, and $20 for nonmembers. Artists of all skill levels are invited to draw, paint, or take photos in the Gardens. An instructor is also on site to offer tips and critiques, and nude figure models pose with the artwork if you want to draw figures.
Even if you don’t feel like creating, seeing the Gardens in this private setting allows you to get a more intimate experience with the cacophony of unique objects scattered throughout the floors, ceilings, walls, and hallways.
Basic art supplies are provided, but you’re free to bring your own. However, there are some rules for supplies:
- Paper and sketchpads can be a maximum of 18″ by 24″
- Dry materials like pencils, crayons, pastels, and charcoals are permitted
- Watercolor paints are permitted
- Washable markers are permitted
- Wet materials like oil, paints, acrylics, and inks are not permitted
- Easels can be no larger than 72″ and can only be used in certain areas
- Cameras, flashes, and tripods are permitted
- No photographs can be taken of figure models
- No video equipment is permitted