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The Unbelievable Art of Zagar Mosaics in Philadelphia

The Unbelievable Art of Zagar Mosaics in Philadelphia

If you’re a fan of art, you’ve probably come across some impressive mosaics that are scattered around your city or town in various buildings and public spaces. These mosaics vary in style and composition, with some of them created by famous artists and others made by simple amateurs using glass tiles to express their talents. But have you ever considered visiting an art studio to watch an artist at work as they transform blank surfaces into unique works of art? The studios of mosaic artist Chris Zagar are definitely worth visiting if you’re in the Philadelphia area—but what makes them so special?

Magic Gardens

Image Source- Pintrest

Since the 1990s, Magic Gardens has been a running art project on South Street. Zagar began creating his mosaic pieces on two barren areas close to his home after cleaning them up. The artist finally acquired the lots and transformed them into what are today known as Magic Gardens with the aid of public and private donations.

… The sections can be visited separately, but following a particular path will take you through different points in Zagar’s life and even some social issues. The installations are not categorized by names and most are not numbered, so visiting them is an adventure for every person who goes there.
Such mosaics can be found all over Philly: If you go to South Street, your senses will feel delighted by such amazing works of art. You will notice beautiful patterns and colors among buildings as well as on walls and fences.

Carlos Carpet Building

Given that the mosaic covers the entire building, this is one of Zagar’s more spectacular creations. On Bainbridge Street, there is a building that contains a carpet and flooring company. In front of it are two large murals, which have been both painted and mosaicked by Zagar. One mural displays scenes from different cultures around the world including images from Egypt, Rome, Japan and Native Americans to name a few. The other mural shows various types of carpets like Persian rugs, Berber rugs and even Oriental carpets.

Schell Street Walls

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The Schell Street Walls mosaic has been there since 1996, hidden in a little passageway. It is situated near several other Zagar art projects on South Schell Street. You can’t miss it because it’s the biggest one and it has its own inscription. The words are love and peace, which were common themes for mosaics at that time in Philly.

Painted Bride Art Center

Image Source- Flickr

One of the most well-known Zagar mosaics can be found at the Painted Bride Art Center on Vine Street. The entire building’s façade is covered in the artwork, named Skin of the Bride. Zagar worked on it for almost a decade and ended up donating it to the center. Meanwhile, folks who live nearby say they love the mosaic so much that they stop by every day just to look at it! For those who want to experience this amazing piece of art from a different perspective, there are also benches scattered throughout where visitors can sit and watch people walk by. It’s open daily from 9am – 6pm with free admission and an onsite café with some tasty treats.

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