Inside Philly's Magic Gardens

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens
By Amy Krimm
Image Description: A mosaic with a painted hand and bits of broken porcelain and bricks.

Last month, my mom and I took a trip up to Philadelphia to see the acclaimed Magic Gardens. I’ve seen a number of photos from this spectacular place all over social media, and was looking forward to experience its “magic” for myself. Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens is a nonprofit outdoor museum and gallery space spanning half a block. The walls, floor, and sometimes the ceiling are all covered with exquisitely detailed murals and mosaics, created by Isaiah Zagar. Its mission statement is to “inspire creativity and community engagement by educating the public about folk, mosaic, and visionary art. [Philadelphia's Magic Gardens] preserves, interprets, and provides access to Isaiah Zagar’s unique mosaic art environment and his public murals.” You can read more about its history here, and buy tickets here (you can also buy tickets at the gates, but I would recommend pre-ordering so you can skip the line).

During my visit, I took many photographs and video clips. Here are the results:

A short film I put together from my video clips.

Image Description: My mom (white, brown hair, wearing a pale pink turtleneck) smiling as she looks up at a wall covered with mosaic tiles.

Me, by my mom, wearing blue jeans and a pale yellow shirt, standing in front of a mosaic wall

A self portrait in the bathroom; even the walls here are covered with art!

Feeling inspired when I got home, I created this entry in my journal in a similar fashion Isaiah Zagar used. I used photos that I took from my visit and painted over and around them in the folk art style that inspired Zagar.