Sensory overload doesn?t begin to describe Philadelphia?s Magic Gardens. A seemingly boundless compilation of colors, textures, and shapes, the labyrinthine mosaic creation spans 3,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space. The masterpiece originated in the brain of Isaiah Zagar, a Philadelphia native who grew up in New York. During his third year of art school, he stumbled upon Clarence Schmidt?s folk-art-inspired installations?assemblages of found objects and recycled materials?and the young artist?s view of the art world changed. ?I didn't know that I was looking at art,? Zagar reflects in his mission statement. Self-admittedly, Zagar has been somewhat ?copying? Schmidt?s dynamic, free-flowing style ever since.
The years after art school brought Zagar an onslaught of new opportunities. He spent time as an artist in China and India, joined the Peace Corps with his wife Julia, settled in Peru for three years, and even tried his hand at ceramics in Wisconsin. In the ?60s, he and Julia returned to his birthplace?specifically, the waning South Street neighborhood. Isaiah quickly leapt into action, renovating dilapidated buildings and often adding mosaics to formerly barren walls. Eventually, Isaiah?s imagination outgrew their projects, and in 1994 he began constructing a new piece in a vacant lot near his studio?the project would become Philadelphia?s Magic Gardens.
Isaiah spent 14 precious years, which he should have applied to Y2K preparations, scooping out tunnels, erecting multitiered walls, and splashing the entire space in colorful tile. The finished product stretches across half a block of South Street; the outside enclosure shimmering with vibrant tiles, the inside housing folk art, colored glass bottles, and countless sparkling mirrors. Now a nonprofit organization, Philadelphia?s Magic Gardens invites visitors to enjoy its visual candy with guided or self-guided tours.
Museums typically showcase art in carefully curated rooms. At Mattress Factory, however, the room itself is the art. Since 1977, the museum's two buildings have housed a permanent collection of contemporary installation art—room-sized works that engulf the entire space. In Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Dots Mirrored Room, mirrored ceilings and walls infinitely reflect a trio of fluorescent dots painted on a white formica floor. In Greer Lankton's It's all about ME, Not You, astroturf lines a floor covered in artful arrangements of grotesque dolls that form shrines to artists such as Patti Smith and Candy Darling.
To further immerse guests, Mattress Factory's exhibitions are paired with educational programs that range from lectures to hands-on art projects. Along with stimulating the public, the museum stimulates the growth of artists through its residency program, which invites participants to create installations while living near the museum, a much more practical alternative to hiding a secret cot in the coatroom.
The craftspeople at Boulevard Frame & Art entrap beautiful works of art inside frames, utilizing more than 5,000 styles that come in wood, metal, and a wide variety of colors. Serving to both showcase and protect the items inside, frames can transform ordinary portraits into antique-style wall jewelry. Custom frames enhance other artistic expressions, such as photography and childhood masterworks, creating eye-pleasing products perfect for mounting above beds or fireplaces or attaching directly to slightly larger paintings. Customers aren't limited to two-dimensional images—objects and mementos such as ornate clothwork, favorite album covers, and trinkets from vacations past also fit nicely inside a frame, where they'll live in peace until time ends this coming September.
Opened on December 4, 1974, Glass Growers Gallery began as a showcase for founder Deborah Vahanian?s three-dimensional works, which she fashioned from glass and silicone. These days, the gallery houses exhibits of other artists? handmade, decorative and functional artwork, including paintings, prints, pottery, and jewelry. Besides displaying and selling work, the gallery doubles as a workspace where Deborah and her team design everything from personalized awards to wall reliefs commemorating that day your teenager woke before noon. Deborah?s services are likewise available for overseeing and advising art-show selections, installations, and maintenance.
As part of Flooring America's national network of locally owned retailers, Bethlehem Gallery of Floors outfits homes with an extensive selection of flooring options and a six-point ultimate guarantee. Owners Bob and Joanne Young work with dedication to the daily operations of the store, ensuring that customers garb their homes in the ideal carpet, hardwood, laminate, tile, and vinyl floor coverings. More than 17,000 flooring choices await customer perusal, and a staff of flooring sale experts helps to narrow selections while considering lifestyle, existing décor, and the burrowing habits of domesticated sofas.
Before looking through the camera lens, the expert photographers at Picture People spend time getting to know their subjects and establishing a strategy for conveying their personalities in print. Then, film-ready clients pose in the bright camera room, airing teeth amid colorful backdrops and creative props. Following snapshots, subjects make their way to the selection station to choose their favorite poses from their session, which may be treated with sepia tones, color accents, and decorative borders to suit any wall, wallet, wallpaper pattern, or trophy walleye.
Picture People offers a variety of creative tips to help enhance mantel-dominating final results. The studio ensures satisfaction with a 100% guarantee on finished products.