Exploring the Unconventional: Artists in Philadelphia, PA

Discover the hidden gems of Philadelphia's art scene with these unique and unconventional spaces where artists showcase their work. From outdoor installations to community-driven studios, there's something for everyone.

Exploring the Unconventional: Artists in Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and diverse art scene. From the iconic Philadelphia Museum of Art to the bustling South Street filled with street performers and local artists, there is no shortage of traditional spaces for artists to showcase their work. However, for those looking for a more unconventional and unique experience, Philadelphia offers a plethora of hidden gems that are worth exploring.

The Magic Gardens

Tucked away in the Bella Vista neighborhood, The Magic Gardens is a one-of-a-kind art installation created by mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar. Spanning half a block, this outdoor art space features intricate mosaics made from various materials such as glass bottles, bicycle wheels, and mirrors.

The walls, floors, and ceilings are covered in colorful designs that tell a story of Zagar's life and experiences. What makes this space truly unique is that it is not just a static art installation. Visitors can walk through the gardens and interact with the artwork, making it a truly immersive experience. The Magic Gardens also hosts events such as live music performances and workshops, making it a hub for creativity and community.

The Maas Building

The Maas Building, located in the Kensington neighborhood, is a former textile factory turned into a multi-purpose event space. This industrial-chic building is home to various artists' studios, galleries, and performance spaces.

It also hosts events such as art shows, concerts, and pop-up markets. One of the most unique aspects of The Maas Building is its rooftop garden. This urban oasis offers stunning views of the city skyline and is often used as a backdrop for photo shoots and events. The building also has a vintage photo booth, adding to its quirky charm.

The Philadelphia Sculpture Gym

For sculptors and 3D artists, The Philadelphia Sculpture Gym is a dream come true. This membership-based studio space provides access to tools, equipment, and resources for artists to create their sculptures.

The gym also offers classes and workshops for those looking to learn new techniques or improve their skills. What sets this space apart is its community-driven approach. Members are encouraged to collaborate and share ideas, making it a supportive and inspiring environment for artists. The gym also hosts events such as open studios and artist talks, allowing the public to engage with the artists and their work.

The Tiberino Museum

Located in West Philadelphia, The Tiberino Museum is a hidden gem that showcases the work of the Tiberino family, a group of artists who have been creating art in the neighborhood for over 50 years. The museum is actually the Tiberino family's home, which they have transformed into an art gallery and community space. The Tiberino Museum features a diverse collection of paintings, sculptures, and mixed media pieces created by the family members.

It also hosts events such as poetry readings, live music performances, and art workshops. The museum's colorful exterior and welcoming atmosphere make it a must-visit for anyone interested in experiencing art in a non-traditional setting.

The Soapbox Community Print Shop & Zine Library

For printmakers and zine enthusiasts, The Soapbox Community Print Shop & Zine Library is a must-visit. This volunteer-run space in West Philadelphia offers access to printmaking equipment, workshops, and a vast collection of zines and artist books. The Soapbox also hosts events such as zine fairs and printmaking demos, making it a hub for the DIY art community. The space is open to all, regardless of skill level or experience, and encourages collaboration and experimentation.

The Philadelphia Dumpster Divers

The Philadelphia Dumpster Divers is a collective of artists who create art from found objects and recycled materials.

This group has been showcasing their work in unconventional spaces throughout the city since 1992. From abandoned buildings to alleyways, the Dumpster Divers are known for turning unexpected spaces into art galleries. The group also hosts an annual Trash Bash event, where they transform a vacant lot into an outdoor art installation using discarded materials. This event not only showcases the creativity of the Dumpster Divers but also raises awareness about recycling and sustainability.


Philadelphia's art scene is constantly evolving, and these unconventional spaces are just a few examples of the city's vibrant and diverse creative community. From interactive outdoor installations to community-driven studios, these spaces offer a unique and immersive experience for both artists and art enthusiasts. So next time you're in Philadelphia, be sure to step off the beaten path and explore these hidden gems that showcase the city's thriving art scene.