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Positively Philadelphia: Artmaking at Isaiah Zagar’s Magic Gardens

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(Jessie shows off her creation at the Magic Gardens, on South Street.  Credit: Lauren Lipton)

(Jessie shows off her creation at the Magic Gardens, on South Street. Credit: Lauren Lipton)

lipton_lauren DL Lauren Lipton
Lauren Lipton, a fixture in Philadelphia journalism, is “at the...
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By Lauren Lipton

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — On the second Sunday of each month, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens holds Peco Family Jams, a chance for kids (and even some adults) to make their own magic.

“We found that a lot of people, when they come to the Magic Gardens, are really inspired to create art,” says Olivia Edlund, education and outreach manager for the ornate outdoor space that dazzles the eye at every turn.

Edlund says Magic Gardens founder Isaiah Zagar used thousands of recycled objects to create the visual treasures, and the Family Jams give everyone a chance to make their own.

(Olilvia Edlund.  Photo by Lauren Lipton)

(Olilvia Edlund. Photo by Lauren Lipton)

“They were using scraps of fabric, old wire hangers, beans, toilet paper rolls, tin foil — all kinds of things,” Edlund (right) tells Positively Philadelphia.

One budding artist, Jessie (top photo), was making her own masterpiece and felt inspired by what she saw around her.

“Looking at Isaiah’s art for the first time… I’ve never been here before. I think it’s so amazing how he does that,” she said.

And Edlund thinks the opportunities for young people like Jessie to make art are becoming too rare in many communities.

“Especially for kids we feel like that’s important, because a lot of kids don’t have art at their schools anymore.  So this is a place where they can come and make something themselves.”

Hear the expanded “Magic Gardens” interview in this CBS Philly podcast (runs 3:54) …

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The Magic Gardens is at 1020 South Street, and you really can’t miss it. The next Family Jam is October 13th.

And, for this week, that’s “Positively Philadelphia!”

“Positively Philadelphia” main page

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