September 13, 2010
Today we were walking in Philadelphia, where I am performing with the Creatures of Habitat. We stumbled across a fantastic mosaic mural made of pieces of glass, ceramic tile, and bottles. Then we realized there was a whole BUILDING entirely covered on all sides in mosaic. Then, if that weren’t enough, we discovered the entire INSIDE of the building was also covered in the same artists fanciful work — we had come upon the Magic Gardens! Inside the “gardens” is an extensive labyrinth WORLD, with multiple levels, hallways, secret passageways, and nooks, entirely made from mosaics. It was unbelievable! Such an enchanting surprise! This place is the life work of an artist named Isaiah Zagar.
What inspires me about artists such as Isaiah Zagar is the dedication, patience and focus to KEEP CREATING the work. OVER THE LONG TERM. In my own artistic life I often find myself struck by inspiration, and have an initial burst of creative energy towards a project, but I find it challenging to keep the momentum going, to stay focused, to see the project completely through the end. Many of the artists who I admire the most are the ones who have created a body of work over a lifetime that is not only the result of talent and extraordinary vision but many, many, many, MANY hours of WORK.
Embedded into the mosaics are tiles with poetry on them that give a verbal glimpse into Isaiah’s mind. One of my favorites was “Art is the center of the REAL WORLD”. Thank you to Isaiah for keeping it real and keeping me inspired!
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