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In a Dream: Film Tells the Story of Philadelphia Artist Isaiah Zagar
Isaiah Zagar is an American tile mosaic artist.
PHILADELPHIA, PA.- In the vibrant, bohemian neighborhood of South Philadelphia, 50,000-square feet of concrete are covered with tile and mirrors—mosaics that were created by Isaiah Zagar, an eccentric, tormented artist. The murals chronicle his love for his wife, Julia, and subtly hint at the darker corners of an extraordinary imagination.

Where Isaiah is obsessive and narcissistic—a former Peace Corps volunteer who has become an icon in South Philly's art community—Julia is gracious and warm. For decades, their opposing natures complemented one another perfectly. But suddenly the family is torn apart at the seams: A few hours before picking up his oldest son from a rehabilitation center, Isaiah declares to the camera, "As people get older they have less and less passion." He then confesses to an affair with his assistant, is kicked out of the house, and spirals into a debilitating, suicidal depression.

A fascinating portrait of love and betrayal, family bonds, and the intimacy of dysfunction. Shot on 35mm, Hi Def, digital video; with 8mm and 16mm home movie footage. The soundtrack features music by the Books, Explosions in the Sky, Efterklang, and Kelli Scarr.

Isaiah Zagar is an American tile mosaic artist. Zagar holds a BA in Painting and Graphics from the Pratt Institute of Art. His awards include an NREA Fellowship in 1979 and a Pew Charitable Trust Individual Artist Fellowship Grant in 1995. Zagar was artist-in-residence in Tianjin, China in 1987, at the John Michael Kohler Arts/Industry Program in Sheboygan, Wisconsin in 2001 and in Delhi and Bagru, Rajistan in 2003.

Zagar has executed numerous public commissions in his quest to transform the city of Philadelphia, PA into a labyrinthine mosaic museum. They include the South Street Community Garden exterior mosaic wall in 1992, three story exterior mosaic facades at 610 S. 10th Street in 1994, the entrance to The Clay Studio at 139 N. 4th Street in 1997, the complete exterior of the Painted Bride Art Center at 230 Vine Street, completed in 1999, and an exterior mosaic mural at Lombard and Jessup Street in 2003, to name but a few.

Philadelphia's Magic Garden has been a work-in-progress since 1994, and as of 2005 is supported by a non-profit foundation whose aim is the preservation and education of Isaiah's donations to the landscape of Philadelphia.

Julia Zagar was born in New York City a long time ago. In New York she was educated at the high school of Music and Art, Cooper Union Art School and The Art students League. In 1962 she began her love affair with Latin America; first in Mexico at the Universidad de las Americas and then with her husband in the Peace Corps from 1964-1967 in Peru. There they worked in craft development, product design and small industry growth.

The Zagars continued those same interests back in the U.S. with the opening of the Eyes Gallery in 1968 on South Street in Philadelphia. The Eyes Gallery has been in existence for 38 years and has led them into many projects; community building development, fighting the Cross Town Expressway and community garden works to name a few.

In 1997, Julia began Art and Soul Tours to bring Americans to experience the cultures of Mexico, Peru and India. As a group, Art and Soul Tours has aided Latin American Museums, Cooperatives and individual artisans. In February of 2008, she gave an eight part lecture on Mexican Folk Art during the Frida exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

She has two sons, two grandsons and a wonderful husband who has devoted his work life to mosaics in the South Street area and now around the US and even internationally.



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April 14, 2009

Italian Earthquake in the Abruzzo Region Damages Art Treasures, Churches and Monuments

Smithsonian Photography Initiative Announces Its New Blog "The Bigger Picture"

Sotheby's Sales of Impressionist and Modern Art to be Held on May 5 & 6 in New York

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The Film Society of Lincoln Center to Present On the Edge: New Independent Cinema from China 2009

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Exhibitions Continue Exploration into Frye Collection

Rock Prophecies: Feature-length Chronicle of Conflicted Photographer Robert M. Knight

Performance, Video, Music, and Audio Features by Contemporary New York Artists Included in Metropolitan Exhibition

The American Institute of Architects Announces the 2009 COTE Top Ten Green Projects

The Window, Carlos Soríns Poignant, Bergman-Inflected Drama, has U.S. Theatrical Premiere at Film Forum

Artists Vie for Honors in Arts & Crafts Guild Competition

"America's Funniest Home Videos" Brings Laughter to the Smithsonian

Announcing the Establishment of The Július Koller Society

April 13, 2009

Governor Schwarzenegger Returns Holocaust-Era Artwork to Heirs of Jewish Family

Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Peter Zumthor of Switzerland Becomes the 2009 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate

New Morgan Exhibition Examines the Artistry and Innovation of Twentieth-century Stage Design

The Boston Athenaeum Presents "Portrait Week" in April

New Museum Presents Works by Fifty International Artists for First Edition of "The Generational"

Tomas Saraceno Looks to the Sky to Envision New Horizons

Sensitive Vision: The Prints of Beth Van Hoesen to Open at the Portland Art Museum

Oriental Theme on Tap for Spring Fundraiser La Table des Artistes: Chinoiserie on April 24

Robert Hull Fleming Museum to Open Quadricentennial Exhibition

Raymond Martinez Returns to the London Art Scene with Exhibition at the Gallery in Cork Street

Brooklyn Museum Celebrates Sufism with an Islamic Art Installation

"Fashion Forward: Photographs by Louise Dahl-Wolfe" At National Museum of Women in the Arts

The Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia Launches Virtual Museum in Second Life

Seattle Art Museum to Present an Intimate Tribute to the Late Andrew Wyeth

National Gallery of Canada will Consult Photographic Community on Future of Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography

Michener Art Museum To Host Jim Henson's Fantastic World In New Gallery Space

Employment Opportunity at the Nevada Museum of Art, Museum Looking for Curatorial Assistant

Fashion Retailer Barbara Freeling Presents An Artful Approach to Dressing

April 12, 2009

MoMA Explores Relationship Between Built Environment and Surrounding Landscape

Como Shows Exhibition by Masters of Russian Avant-garde: Chagall, Kandinsky and Malevich

Monumental Roy Lichtenstein Sculpture Acquired by the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Matisse, Giacometti, and Miro to Highlight Christie's Spring Evening Sale of Impressionist and Modern Art

American Masters Exhibition Returns to the Salmagundi Club

Jimson Weed Returns from the White House and Georgia O'Keeffe: Beyond Our Shores

300 Portraits of Fourth-century Christian Saint Fabiola to be Shown at NPG in UK

Montclair Art Museum Announces Exhibition to Explore Influence of Cézanne on American Art

Snite Museum of Art Opens Italian Drawings Seminar Exhibition

Collectors and Decorators to Attend Antibes Antiquity Dealers Exhibition

First Museum Survey of the Artistic Work by Kalup Linzy on View at Studio Museum in Harlem

Seattle Art Museum Honors Titus Kaphar, Inaugural Fellowship Recipient, with a Solo Exhibition

Chazen Museum of Art Announces Exhibition of Kawase Hasui Color Woodcuts

London Auction to Offer Photographs from the Realms of Cutting-edge Contemporary Art and Fashion

Fleisher Art Memorial Celebrates 20th Anniversary Founder's Award Gala By Honoring Three Philadelphia-Based Artists

Artwithoutwalls - A New Arts Organization Launches

Exhibition Explores Glamour and Influence of Paris Fashion in the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries

Peabody Essex Museum Launches Photography Program with Surfland: Photographs by Joni Sternbach

Milwaukee Art Museum Announces Art in Bloom Award Winners

New York State Museum Celebrates Earth Day on April 25

April 11, 2009

The Blessed Angelico - The Dawn of the Renaissance Opens at Palazzo dei Caffarelli

Exhibition To Explore The Power of Paint at The Phillips Collection

In-finitum To Open at The Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia

The Huntington Library Presents Treasures through Six Generations

Gerry Judah Recreates Scenes of Ruined Settlements at Wolverhampton Art Gallery

Vegetable City: Luc Schuiten's Vision of a Sustainable Future Opens in Brussels

Sound of Music and Crossroads Opens at Turner Contemporary

School of Visual Arts Presents "Mentors": Works By Emerging Photographes

Galerie Max Hetzler Temporary Presents French Painter Yves Oppenheim

Solo Exhibition of Luis Gispert at MOCA at Goldman Warehouse

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Liverpool Biennial Appoints New Curator for 'International' Exhibition

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John Paul Jones: A Retrospective at Cal State Fullerton Main Art Gallery

Hood Museum of Art Presents Wearing Weatlth and Styling Identity - Tapis from Lampung, South Sumatra, Indonesia

Scott McFarland: A Cultivated View Opens at Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography

Call For Artists: The 13th Annual No Dead Artists Juried Exhibition

The New York Photo Festival To Open in May

National Endowment for the Arts Announces Recovery Grants to State and Regional Arts Agencies

April 10, 2009

Focus on Andrea Mantegna: Mark the Evangelist, c. 1450 Opens at the Stadel Museum

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Isa Genzken: Open, Sesame! at Whitechapel Gallery

Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts Announces National Juried Exhibition of Metal Works

The Communism of Forms: Sound + Image + Time - The Strategy of Music Video

Reflections/Refractions: Self-Portraiture in the Twentieth Century Opens at The National Portrait Gallery

April 9, 2009

First Display of Art from the University of Iowa Museum to Open at the Figge Art Museum

Ten Curators in the Running for a Share in 75,000 Pound Prize for Contemporary Craft at Collect 2009

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4.- The Baltimore Museum of Art announces three new contemporary exhibitions in fall

5.- New Aspen Art Museum designed by architect Shigeru Ban opens to the public

6.- New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art launches 82nd & Fifth app in 12 languages

7.- MoMA online-only publication features new research on Pablo Picasso and Cubism

8.- Volunteers needed for massive Smithsonian digitization project

9.- Tate Britain welcomes home John Everett Millais's Ophelia and Rossetti’s The Beloved

10.- Bogart estate: Hollywood golden age icon Lauren Bacall dead at 89 in New York

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