December 11, 2017
This isn’t your grandmother’s art museum (but she’ll like it too)! Part outdoor sculpture garden, part indoor galleries, Philadelphia's Magic Gardens (PMG) is an idiosyncratic, immersive, completely original art installation made out of tiles, mirror, bottles, found objects, international folk art – even a bike parts chandelier. Take a guided tour, or just chat with our staff – they’re always happy to answer your wackiest questions. There’s something new to discover no matter how many times you visit, and there is nowhere on earth quite like it.
From our staff, to our visitors, to the various people and cultures depicted in our space, everyone belongs here. Our space includes gender neutral restrooms, we provide tactile tours for the visually impaired, we talk about using art as a means of therapy, and we participate in the ACCESS program for greater accessibility. Our rotating exhibitions have included art by adults with developmental disabilities, undocumented immigrants, and formerly incarcerated individuals. Just as our founding artist, Isaiah Zagar, bares his soul on the walls of PMG, you don’t have to hide who you are when you’re here. We want everyone to experience art in a safe and welcoming place.
Isaiah Zagar has been living and working on South Street for fifty years and his mosaics are the landscape of our neighborhood. Our community means everything to us! We thrive on collaboration – such as partnering with local nonprofits like Art-Reach to provide free tours and presenting exhibitions with Philadelphia-based artists. Your admission to the museum supports these partnerships and allows us continue to connect to a diverse population of our city.
Bring your sketch pad or your camera and get lost in our space. Get inspired to think outside the box, write a poem, make a mosaic, or make art that is completely your own. If you need more, PMG offers tours and hands-on art activities at a number of our events that will get your creative juices flowing, like our Twilight in the Gardens series, and The Museum as Muse. You can even take part in the creation of a public mosaic mural from start to finish at one of our weekend workshops.
The artwork at PMG can touch on some deep issues, but we feel it’s important to make space for celebration as well. Come to one of our events to kick back with a drink and coloring pages, or visit on a regular day to take some silly photos of your dog for Facebook. Follow us on Instagram to view our best #NudieTuesday posts, and giggle while you try to find all the naughty tiles in our “saucy scavenger hunt.” The world can be a serious place – but at PMG we focus on the joyful parts too.
If you’ve been to PMG before, come back and take a second look. If you’ve always walked by but have never stopped in – what are you waiting for? It’s a place you need to see for yourself, with personality all its own. We can’t wait to share it with you!