Creative Philosophy:  
In 1959 when I was 19 years old I was introduced to the folk art environment of Clarence Schmidt, My Mirrored Hope, Woodstock, NY USA. Soon after in 1960 there was a groundbreaking exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, NY USA. Because that exhibition included assemblages of artists like Pablo Picasso, Jean Dubuffet, Curt Schwitters, Antonio Gaudi along side of untrained brickaleurs Clarence Schmit, Simon Rodia and Joseph Ferdinand Cheval that gave me as a trained artist the rationale to include their concepts as manifestations of fine art. At a crucial time in my life it allowed me to begin what could be called a life's work making the city of Philadelphia PA USA into a labyrinthine mosaic museum that incorporates all my varied knowledge and skills.

Videos on Isaiah  


  • B.F.A., Painting and graphics, Pratt Institute of Art, New York, NY

Solo Exhibitions  

  • Collages and Sculptures, Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia, Pa, 1999
  • Mosaic Sculptures, Snyderman Gallery, Philadelphia, Pa. 1998
  • 12 year Print Retrospective, The Print Center, Philadelphia, Pa. 1995
  • Utopian Dream Paintings, Snyderman Gallery, Philadelphia, Pa. 1993
  • Collage Works, Philadelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia, Pa. 1990

Group Exhibitions  

  • Trashformations, Touring national exhibit of artists using recycled materials, organized by the Whatcom Museum of History and Art, Bellingham, Wa. 1997 (catalogue)


  • Pew Charitable Trust Individual Artist Fellowship Grant of $50,000.00 for work in the interdisciplinary arts, Philadelphia, Pa. 1995
  • National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, DC 1979

Completed Installations (Philadelphia, Pa)  

  • Lombard and Jessup Street-10'x14' exterior mosaic mural, 2003
  • Philadelphia Flowers Show 2003-14'x42' interior mosaic mural, 2003
  • Robin's Bookstore #2-exterior mosaic facade, 2000
  • Isaiah and Jullia-12'x15' mosaic facade, 2000
  • Grandchild Portrait-12'x9' mosaic facade, 2000
  • Bodine Street Garden-15'x60' mosaic facade, 2000
  • Candle Shop Alleyway-mosaic facade, 2000
  • 1003-1005 Studio-interior walls, floors, ceilings, 2000
  • Randolph Street Parking Lot-8'x200' mosaic facade, 3 walls, 2000
  • PhilaDeli-3 memorials, mosaic panels, 2000
  • Ben Dorfman Memorial-3 story exterior mosaic facade, 1999
  • Robin's Bookstore-exterior facade mosaic, 1999
  • Zagar Grotto-interior mosaic collage, 1999
  • Painted Bride Art Center-6,000 sq. foot exterior mosaics, 1991-9
  • Germantown Community Home-exterior mosaic facade, 1998
  • Southwark Community Gardens-3 story exterior mosaic facade, 1998
  • Homage to Mike Matteo, Plumber-exterior mosaic facade, 1998
  • Carlos Carpets-3 story exterior on two facades, 1998
  • Completed Installations
  • Snyderman Gallery-interior mosaic facade, 1998
  • Muller-Biello Studio-entranceway mosaic floor, 1998
  • Ettinger Print Studio-3 story exterior mosaic facade, 1998
  • St. Maria Goretti High School-interior mosaic wall, 1998
  • Hip-Hop CafĂ©-3 story exterior mosaic facade, 1998
  • Church of the Crucifixion-2 story exterior mosaic facade, 1997
  • Agoos & Lovera Architects-exterior mosaic facade, 1997
  • Mildred Street Wall-exterior mosaic wall, 1997
  • Fried House-3 story exterior mosaic facade, 1997
  • Pemberton Street Walls-series of exterior mosaic facades, 1997
  • Clay Studio-entranceway mosaic floor, 1997
  • Physicians for Social Responsibility-exterior mosaic facade, 1997
  • Schell Street Walls-block long series of contiguous exterior mosaics, 1995
  • Zagar House-3 story exterior mosaic facade, 1994
  • 610 S. 4th Street-3 story exterior mosaic facade, 1994
  • South Street Community Garden-exterior mosaic wall, 1992
  • Alder Street Walls-series of exterior wall mosaics, 1990

Ongoing Installations (Philadelphia, Pa.)  

  • Zagar South Street Garden-sculpture garden and surrounding exterior mosaic and assemblage facades, 1994-present
  • Zagar Studio-3 story exterior/interior mosaics, 1987-present
  • Eyes Gallery-3 story exterior/interior mosaics, 1969-present

Artist Residencies/Workshops  

  • Sanscriti, Delhi, India-residency and collaboration work with a woodblock printing family, Bagven, Rajistan, India 2003
  • Kohler ceramic factory-residency, Kohler Wi, 2001
  • Tile Heritage Society National Conference-directed 3-day workshop 1999
  • Tianjin, China: Artist Residency-sponsored by the City of Philadelphia, 1987

Public Collections  

  • Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Hirschhorn Museum, Washington, DC
  • Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia. Pa.


  • The Magic Gardens of Isaiah Zagar, Philadelphia, Pa. 1999
  • Mosaic Style, Joann Locktov, Rockport Press, Rockport, Ma. 1997
  • Making Mosaics, Leslile Dierks, Sterling Publishing Co., New York, NY 1996
  • Isaiah Zagar Wall Works, video documentary, 1994

Speaking Engagements  

  • Community Built Association (CBA) Conference-keynote speaker, Gulf Shores, Al. 2003 International Society of Mosaic Artists-slide/talk on work in Philadelphia, Brazil 2002
  • Society of American Mosaic Artists (SAMA) Conference-slide/talk 35 years of making mosaic art, Orangeburg, SC 2001

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