Philadelphia Magic Gardens to host South Street Safari July 19

Engross on a scavenger hunt of Isaiah Zagar’s work while supporting pets in need.

Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Magic Gardens/Special to South Philly Review

The hidden gems of Isaiah Zagar’s glistening masterpieces will soon be the subject of a South Philly scavenger hunt.

Aiming for folks to seek his city-wide scattered mosaics, the Philadelphia Magic Gardens, along with the Morris Animal Refuge, is hosting the first South Street Safari scheduled for Thursday, July 19, at 6 p.m.

Although Zager’s work can be found all around Philly, the adventure, which starts and ends at PMG at 10th and South streets, takes participants on an exploration around Washington Square West and Bella Vista, as folks specifically search for the depictions of animals hidden in the public art.

“We were trying to come up with ways to get the word out more about all of the murals by Isaiah that are in that area,” said Allison Boyle, events and marketing manager at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. “So, we thought a scavenger hunt would be a great way to get people around to see those.”

Last year, PMG launched an interactive map of the city revealing locations of Zager’s work which reach as far as Narberth. But, allowing close proximity to the PMG, the hunt will stay between South and Catherine streets and then 12th to 8th streets.

Zager, who has been colorizing the city with his concoctions of materials since the 1960s, has several works in that region, but people only need to find a specific 15, or as many as they can, within an hour, as the premise is to snap photos of every critter pictured on a checklist.

The featured sites will include some of his oldest work as well as some of his latest creations on Alder Street, which was just installed last month.

Prizes, featuring PMG swag and other goodies, will be awarded to the group who finds the most within an hour or finds them all and gets back first.

“People will have to actually search around and find which ones actually have the objects in them,” Boyle said.

Serving as an animal-loving gallery space, another hook of the event is the encouragement to bring pooches along the way.

Participants’ pets will not be the only animals benefiting from the event. The Morris Animal Refuge plans to speak on its cause before the start of the hunt and could even potentially bring along an adoptable dog. Although the hunt is free, PMG will be collecting donations for the refuge during the event.

From benefiting animals in need to exposing the genius of a prolific Philly artist, PMG hopes the South Street Safari continues on an annual basis.

“(Zanger’s mosaics) are everywhere,” Boyle said. “And even when I was walking around looking for things I was like ‘Oh there’s another one here I never even saw before.’ So, it’s a great way to get people out there and see all the different ones.”


-Event is free but donations suggested for Morris Animal Refuge

-Group size limited to five people

-Dog/child-friendly dogs only please

– Space is limited, so reserve your spot today!

-For more information, visit