The City of Brotherly Love contains an amazing collection of mosaics and public art. SAMA is very excited to offer 6 different tours to showcase what Philadelphia has to offer. The tours include a variety of mosaic styles from contemporary and iconic to mixed media and traditional. Make sure to include a tour during your conference planning and see how mosaics have come to enhance the city’s culture and history. All tours will depart for the Loews Philadelphia Hotel’s 12th St entrance.
Tour #1 – From the City to the Country
Wednesday, March 11, 2015 8:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday, March 15, 2015 8:00am – 5:00pm
This Bus Tour includes Lunch: $75
We will start by visiting Congregation Rodeph Shalom, the first ever synagogue to be part of a SAMA Tour! It’s a small mosaic, but we are proud to have it as part of the tour! Then we will visit one of the region’s hidden treasures, the borough of Bryn Athyn. We will leave the city to travel to Glencarin Museum, a Romanesque-styled castle which houses an outstanding collection of medieval objects purchased for the inspiration of the artists working there. Onsite workshops were created to produce stained glass, smalti, carved stone and wood decorations. The unique and beautiful smalti created at Glencarin was used to decorate the interior of this beautiful castle in a unique Byzantine-inspired style. After lunch we will travel to the Village of Arts and Humanities, founded by Lily Yeh, subject of the film “Barefoot Artist”. Our final stop will be at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, with over a dozen large mosaics and numerous mid-century stained glass windows.
Tour #2 – Urban Mosaic Tour
Thursday, March 12, 2015 8:00am-5:30pm
This Bus Tour includes Lunch: $75
On a luxury coach, we will visit some of Philly’s grittier neighborhoods, home to some real mosaic treasures, and the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, with its impressive mosaic installations. We will then cross the bridge to visit the City of Camden, NJ, to experience the enormous mosaic at the Walt Whitman Cultural Arts Center. Returning to Philly, we will visit the famed Maxwell Parrish and Louis Comfort Tiffany’s beautiful masterpiece Dream Garden. This mosaic has 100,000 pieces of hand fixed favrile glass in 260 different colors. Truly stunning! We will wrap up the tour heading to Isaiah Zagar’s Philadelphia’s Magic Garden, and finally a visit to the mosaic at the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, which was saved from demolition in 2014 by the Mosaic Society of Philadelphia.
Tour #3 – Philly’s City Hall Stroll
Wednesday, March 11, 2015 8:00am-12:30pm
This is a walking tour, leaving from the Loews: $35
The centerpiece of this walking tour is Philadelphia’s City Hall. It is the largest municipal building in the country and its finest example of the Second Empire style. It contains 250 sculptures created by Alexander Milne Calder. The statue of William Penn is the tallest atop any building in the world. We will be joining Greta Greenberger, Director of the City Hall Tour and Visitor Center, on a behind the scenes tour developed especially for us. Greta is a passionate, informed and entertaining guide with exhaustive information with all things City Hall. Among other things, she will show us some actual and faux mosaics dating back to 1890-1894. We will then stroll to some surrounding smaller installations at the Convention Center, the John Wanamaker Building (currently a Macy’s Dept. Store), and visit the World Park Orders and Perspectives mosaic designed by Ned Smyth and fabricated by Stephen Miotto, fabricator of mosaics worldwide, including a multitude of NY City Subway mosaics.
Tour #4 – Mosaics & Murals Arts
Wednesday, March 11, 2015 9:00am – 11:00am
Wednesday, March 11, 2015 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Thursday, March 12, 2015 9:00am – 11:00pm
Thursday, March 12, 2015 2:00pm – 4:00pm
This is a Walking Tour : $45
Philadelphia’s famous Mural Arts Programs has recently begun to include mosaics in their installations. It’s the largest public art program in the United States, begun in 1984 as a component of the Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network. Since its inception it has created 3,600 murals in the area. Under the direction of Jane Golden, its charismatic leader, Philadelphia has earned the praise of “City of Murals.” Join us on a walking tour designed by the Mural Arts Program, highlighting some of their exceptional work. Though not all of these murals will include mosaics, all will be impressive examples of the mural arts.
Tour #5 – Art & Culture in the Burbs!
Thursday, March 12, 2015 8:30am – 2:00pm
This is a Bus Tour and includes Lunch: $75
Welcome to Philadelphia’s fabled Main Line! We will stop in Haverford, Narberth, Bryn Mawr and Malvern to see mosaics in a library, an art center, a Folk Art gallery and shop and a private corporate center. This tour will be an excellent representation of how mosaics can be intertwined in suburban communities. The mosaics will range from the work of award winning Yakov Hanansen, Unicorn Art Studios, NYC, to local mural artists, and feature works from members from the Mosaic Society of Philadelphia.
Tour #6 – Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens and Neighborhood Walking Tour
Sunday, March 15, 2015 10:00am – 12:00pm
This is a Walking Tour from the Loews: $25
Get an insiders’ view of the Magic Gardens and the surrounding South Street neighborhood. This interpretive tours take visitors through the Magic Gardens’ main site and nearby mosaicked properties. Topics include Zagar’s mosaic techniques and influences, the materials used in the mosaics (with a particular focus on tiles and global folk art), the narratives behind his iconography and images, and the history of South Street and Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. Take a walk into the alleyways along South Street to view Isaiah Zagar’s glittering creations! You’ll learn the personal and community stories depicted in Zagar’s large, shimmering murals.