‘Laying the Foundation’ at South Street’s Magic Gardens

Magic Gardens at 1020 South Street will invite viewers to go behind-the-scenes of Isaiah Zagar’s five fully-mosaicked sites in South Philadelphia. The sprawling public art environment at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens is Isaiah’s most well-known work, but Isaiah and his wife Julia have been transforming properties into total works of art for nearly six decades.

“Laying the Foundation” is on view May 19 through July 16 with an opening reception on May 19 from 6-9 p.m. A Tour & Talk with the Zagars and PMG Executive Director Emily Smith is on May 23 from 6-8 p.m.

Discover the histories of these buildings where the Zagars lived, worked, made art, and built their family since 1968. Explore how they created these spaces through never-before-seen archival material, including original photographs, historic documents, and artworks that show each site’s development. The exhibition highlights Julia’s folk art store the Eye’s Gallery, the Zagars’ current home, Isaiah’s current studio, a former rental property, and Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens.