Hidden Mosaics of Philadelphia
I've heard the argument that Philadelphia is not an "artistically rich" city. It does not have the plethora of museums like New York or D.C. or Boston or Los Angeles. Philadelphia does not have a fashion week that international designers flock to or an experimental theater scene. What the Philadelphia arts scene looks like is typical Philly: gritty, grassroots, not defined by popular norms, and, best of all, accessible. I've featured the Philadelphia Museum of Art on here before, a museum that rivals other national museums for quality exhibits and a great permanent collection. But my favorite art is just there in the city streets for you to find, like the mosaics by Isaiah Zagar.
Philadelphia has this amazing museum/art installation called the Magic Gardens. Artist Isaiah Zagar wanted a way to beautify the South Street area of Philadelphia in the 1960s and devoted himself to transforming neglected buildings and spaces into works of art. One of those spaces is the Magic Garden which is next to his studio space. After he finished the project it became an art installation that you can walk through and experience. It truly is magical and I've visited that space several times.
But if you're willing to explore Philly a little more, you'll come across small hidden works by Zagar all over this South Street area. As I wandered around with my family on a lazy Sunday we stumbled into this alleyway next to an antique store. Mosaics and graffiti covered the buildings and there is just so much color and detail to be taken in. That is the quintessential Philadelphia art experience.