At a craft show at the Pen Ryn School, several people had a spark of recognition that I was making something like “that guy in Philly.” This is the first time I’ve had this comparison to the mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar.
My friend Joanne Leva Mosemann took me to Zagar’s Magic Garden for my birthday. She couldn’t believe I had never been there–it’s a pilgrimage for any mosaic artist! And once I was there, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t really known it was there. It is a mosaic wonderland, through the “looking glass” of glass, tile, found objects, and covers rooms, walls, and a courtyard. Zagar’s work wends its way through South Philly, not without controversy, but instantly recognizable and memorable.
Joanne knew I had to see it. I met her when I was chosen to be Poet Laureate of Montgomery County in 2000. She has created a world of poetry in our county, starting single-handedly, and blooming into 10 years of bringing poetry into recognition. As I evolved into a mosaic artist, she has remained alert to the creative spark that all artists share, and all lovers of art.