Magic in mosaics

So – earlier this week I mentioned “art camp” as Lesley and I had taken to calling it. And how we went to the AVAM. ( My first time!). So the week of our vacation held another local/art/field trip first for me. Isaiah Zagar’s Magic Garden in Philly.

I knew Zagar was a tile/mosaic master and eccentric visionary type artist. ( He even taught a work show earlier this year at Hacienda Mosaico in Mexico) I knew he had many public works around the South St. section of the city. I was prepared to be delighted. I was in actuality inspired and blown away.

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Full scale wall mural installation on the same block as the Gardens. Note: dogs! 

There is a sense of freedom and chaos in the murals – yet they are all designed to have composition and flow. There are commercial tiles integrated amidst fragmented industrial tiles and artists OOAK tiles. There are mirrors in abundance to play with light and reflection; incorporating the viewer into the piece… and a chance for random mosaic selfies, I will admit.

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I was completely enchanted with other ceramic pieces incorporated into mosaics in such a non traditional way. 

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The inner courtyard at the PMG is simply… epic. 

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Art is the center of the real world. 

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This sanctuary to be inhabited by my ides and my fantasies. 

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The garden is excavated down and interlocking pathways are built of concrete, flotsam & jetsam, found objects… 

The gardens were a personal piece that Zagar worked on  – the space was his studio – for app. 8 years. When the land owner wanted to sell/demolish the installation, a grassroots community organization saved the PMG, and it now functions as a non profit organization. I would recommend it to anyone, tourist or not, artist or not. Its a momentous undertaking that is impressive, inspirational, fun yet gritty, filled with joie d’ vivre.

I’ll just sit and watch the clouds roll by and ponder the meaning of life… and how mosaics may feature in new work this fall…

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Filtered flowers, fun with Instagram

Oops. Day or two later than I promised… I wanted to post a few more pictures from the Philadelphia weekend and the Flower show. I set aside the images that I had altered, applied filters to in Instagram. It is one of the hundreds of things I love about my iPhone. A regular commonplace picture – black and white, intensified, retro style? All with the swipe of a finger…

Oldenburg

Oldenburg’s Clothespin

pale and luscious

Shades of pale

vintage Scooby

Vintage Scooby

striped spring

Striped Spring

Spots and stripes

Exotic. 

afternoon fortification

Afternoon fortification. 


Friends and flowers.

This past weekend – is it Thursday already? – I had a fantastic weekend with my college roomates. We try to do this every year, and it is as if no time has passed. What a pleasure to simply spend time together, catch up, and just be. This year we went to Alison’s and spent time in nearby Philadelphia. Perfect that our weekend coincided with the Flower Show…

(Note – these pictures are all exactly as shot with my iPhone. No filters. I was pleased.)

lanterns

Chinatown lanterns in late afternoon. 

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Gateway. Traffic. 

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The theme this year was Hawaii – and it was a tropical wonderland. Not as diverse a theme as in past years, but lovely. 

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This store front window display for an art supply store may have been my favorite…

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Camera tricks. Iphones at the ready. This was the light and floral Wave design/entryway. 

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Green garden goodness. You should have wseen the 40′ wall of growing lettuce!

Dutch corner

A corner of Holland for Annmarie. 

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I took so many orchid pictures – I had to mix it up. 

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Our nightcap – thanks to Richard. Port, wine, whiskey and cookies. What else do you need for time talking late into the night? 

More pix tomorrow – with Instagram. Stay tuned. 

Bead Fest, bead swap, bead abundance.

When I left for Philadelphia Saturday morning, with Marsha of Marsha Neal Studio, I had the best laid bloggy plans. We were headed to Beadfest. I wanted to take pictures of inspirational items, gorgeous gems, beautiful beads, and the people…Here is all I managed: 

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Once there – it was a frenzy of shopping, familiar faces, chatting, shopping… Such a great day! And the camera stayed in my pocket. Oh well. I can show you the loot, and there is some loot…

A highlight of the day was the Bead Swap organized by Diana of Suburban Girl Studio. This wasnt about a contest, or a challenge, or a blog entry – it was simply a great way to meet, and share the beady goodness with friends old and new! My new friend and swap partner was Meredith Arnold – a very talented and humorous lady! I crashed her class and got a handful of her gorgoeus polymer beads! They are a bit of a challenge as I am a gemstone junkie, but I already am starting to have some ideas!

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Then there is the shopping, the loot, the treasure. Lets start with artist beads, shall we? 

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goedes and fossils

Geode slices and fossilezed starfish!

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Amazonite, calcedony, mystery gem, sapphire!!!, kyanite. 

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Moonstone, calcedony (?) and yes, more moonstone…

gems loot

Apatite, mystery gem, amethyst, smoky quartz, rutilated quartz, moonstone, lapis, garnet, labradorite, amazonite. 

I know. I bought quite a bit. I get dazzled by the gemstones in all their glory. But I am officially doing Art on the Avenue in October as a “jewelry/mixed media” artist. Meaning I am juried in for jewelry, a coveted spot, and I am allowed to bring tiles and shrines as well. So excited!

After the shopping and swapping marathon – time for a little wine and conversation! The large group of us settled in at Legal Seafoods, and had a great evening! I thoroughly enjoyed getting to meet and chat with people whose work I admire, people who were inspirational/influential to me when I began making ceramic beads, people whose blogs I read regularly. Thank you all, it was a pleasure!

candid camera

Candid camera with Lorelei Eurto and Diane Hawkey. (Elaine Ray and Cynthia Deis look on…)

dinner 1

Nancy Schindler/Round Rabbit, Lisa Petrillo, Lorelei Eurto, Diana P/Suburban Girl. 

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Mary and Molly Hubbard/White Clover Kiln, Melanie/Earthenwood Studio

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Kristie Roeder/Artisan Clay, Melinda Orr, Marsha/Marsha Neal Studio

I hope there are many future meetings in our futures!