City

Magic Gardens Is Throwing Isaiah Zagar a Birthday Party on Monday

And you can attend. There will be cake — and a 75-pound mosaicked Mummers suit.


isaiah zagar birthday magic gardens

The Isaiah Zagar birthday party is scheduled for March 18th. | Photos courtesy of Philadelphia Magic Gardens

Famed mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar turns 80 on Monday — and you can celebrate with him.

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens is throwing Zagar a birthday party, complete with cake, a giant card, a raffle, and guest appearances. Anyone who has a ticket to the intricate South Street tile display (Zagar’s chef d’oeuvre) is welcome to join.

The nonprofit, which oversees the gardens, has been ringing in Zagar’s birthday over the past week. Last Monday, the organization began displaying a massive birthday card, which guests are invited to sign. This Monday, the gardens will be serving cake and raffling off an original Zagar mosaic.

Plus, you’ll get a chance to see the stunning, 75-pound mosaicked Mummers suit that Zagar created in collaboration with the Golden Sunrise NYA, the last remaining so-called Fancy Club in the Philadelphia Mummers Association. (Fancy clubs are known for their grand, elaborate suits.) Golden Sunrise NYA captain Michael Carwile will wear the costume on Monday. You can see a sneak peak below.

Needless to say, Zagar will be on site, as well as Emily Smith, executive director of the Magic Gardens, and dozens of the city’s art enthusiasts.

Not totally familiar with Zagar? Even if you haven’t visited the gardens, there’s a good chance you’ve seen his work — it’s on display on more than 200 walls throughout the city. A quick bio: Zagar was born in Philly and raised in Brooklyn, where he attended school at the Pratt Institute of Art. His work is influenced by the three years he dedicated to Peace Corps service in the Puno region of Peru. (He’s also completed artist residencies in Tianjin, China and Rajasthan, India.) But he’s a longtime Philly resident.

Anyone who wants to visit the Magic Gardens for Zagar’s birthday celebration on Monday is encouraged to buy a ticket in advance, either via the organization’s website or by calling 215-733-0390. General admission for adults costs $10. Tickets frequently sell out. As usual, members of the Magic Gardens (and their guests) don’t need to buy tickets ahead of time. They can proceed straight to the front desk for admission, even if the garden is sold out for the day.

For more information, visit the Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens website.

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