Philadelphia's Magic Gardens hosts In Unison through Sept. 10

BySteph Walton
Tuesday, August 1, 2023
Philadelphia's Magic Gardens hosts In Unison through Sept. 10
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In Unison is set to run at Philadelphia's Magic Gardens through Sept. 10.

PHILADELPHIA -- Ceramic Sculptor George Rodriguez is celebrating his cultural heritage with an exhibition titled In Unison.

"It is all about collaboration and community," he says.

It's on view in the interior gallery of Philadelphia's Magic Gardens.

Rodriguez says that within the Magic Gardens, there's all this Mexican imagery.

"I'm Mexican American and I recognized all these figurines, and I thought it'd be great to somehow blend my artwork with this amazing environment," he says.

Allison Boyle is the Events and Marketing Manager for Philadelphia's Magic Gardens. She says that Rodriguez often makes large-scale ceramic works, which is something very unique to our space.

There are three series within the exhibition.

"One portion is a collaborative set of twelve animal heads," says Rodriguez.

He says it's a series he embarked on with different Mexican and Chicane artists, and that the works reference the Chinese zodiac translated into a Mexican zodiac.

For example, the Year of the Rat is reimagined as a grasshopper.

"And each artist decorated a piece that correlated to their birth year," he says.

The collaborating artists work in a variety of mediums. Some work in painting, jewelry, poetry, and textiles, among others.

"The eagle is in place of the Chinese animal, the rooster," says Rodriguez.

Two artists worked on this piece. A tattoo artist worked on the design of the eagle itself and an animator made it an interactive piece. Visitors can scan a QR code to see the work in action.

"What's been really cool to see visitors do is interact with the pieces," says Boyle.

Rodriguez also collaborated with the community on some of his work.

"This piece is titled Los Guardias," he says, which features the "luchador and La Catrina."

The two figures represent guardians, both here and in the afterlife.

And the tiles behind the figures were made by different members of the community.

Rodriguez also made a throne entirely of clay, which he calls, "El Trono del Pueblo."

He says it's a place for everybody to be able to gather around.

"When I'm sitting on it, there's this almost like a halo, this radiation, and for me that signifies kind of a potential and growth," says Rodriguez.

"George's pieces have a lot of really cool details to them," says Boyle.

"I hope people come in, and can smile, and can kind of be playful and find themselves within one of the pieces," says Rodriguez.

In Unison is on view through September 10 at Philadelphia's Magic Gardens.

In Unison: Ceramic Sculptures by George Rodriguez | Tickets

Philadelphia's Magic Gardens

1020 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147