The Benjamin Franklin Parkway is a Philadelphia cultural mecca — an epicenter of art museums, educational institutions and public spaces.
This summer, there’s yet another reason to proceed to the Parkway: The Oval returns for the summer of 2014.
On the cusp of launching its second season, the open-air public space at Eakins Oval will once again transform an island of asphalt and surrounding lawns at 24th Street and the Parkway into an eight-acre public space devoted to summertime fun — this year with a brand-new theme and even more programming.
Open July 16 through August 17, The Oval will host tons of activities 10 hours a day Wednesday through Sunday, including free live entertainment, educational programming, a lineup of food trucks and a beer garden.
Elevating the park-going experience this year, the Association for Public Art commissioned renowned local artist and designer Candy Coated to create a site-specific installation, Magic Carpet, to thematically connect the entire eight acres.
Read on for more on Magic Carpet and The Oval, and stay tuned for much more on this super new summertime attraction right here.
Candy Coated’s Magic Carpet
A five-section concept by artist Candy Coated, Magic Carpet includes 3D illusion art, brightly colored sandboxes, oversized game boards, patterned umbrellas and much more.
Visitors to The Oval will be greeted by vibrant swirling colors, a labyrinth-like design, hanging vinyl globes, bright pink sandboxes and — perhaps the best part — a high-design 3-D optical illusion perfect for photo ops.
A multimedia sculptor who earned her MFA from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University and previously worked as a master printer at the Fabric Workshop and Museum, Candy Coated is a progressive art maker with a self-professed obsession with all things decorative or artistic. Last year, the Philadelphia Museum of Art exhibited Candy Coated Wonderland, an installation that reinterpreted children’s costumes from the museum’s collection.
On Wednesday, July 16, join the Association for Public Art, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and Fairmount Park Conservancy at The Oval for a Magic Carpet Kick-Off Celebration. A free event for all ages, come out to see the debut of The Oval with food trucks, performances, face painting, crafts, and more.
For a look at Candy Coated’s Magic Carpet site plan, click below.
For more on The Oval, see below.
Beer Garden, Movie Nights & Events
A huge array of free activities and interactive events are scheduled both day and night, and The Oval will be open Wednesday through Sunday. From Wednesday to Friday, park hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 7 p.m. (weather permitting).
Each day The Oval is open, visitors can engage a ton of activities and events presented in cooperation with a bevy of neighborhood and civic partners. No matter what your interest — arts, fitness, beer, technology, family fun and more — The Oval has an event for you.
Of particular note, be sure not to miss hanging out in the Beer Garden at The Oval. The Visit Philly Beer Garden Series will be on hand to help launch the new alfresco drinking space on Friday, July 18, 4 to 7 p.m.
Stay tuned for more on the many, many happenings at The Oval this summer. For a complete schedule of the multitude of daily events, check the online calendar here.
Located in the shadow of the Philadelphia Museum of Art at Eakins Oval, the space is at the center of a hub of vehicular traffic.
By far, the easiest way to arrive at The Oval, though, is by foot or bicycle. There are crosswalks leading from the sidewalks of the Parkway, straight to the park and bike racks are on site.
By public transportation, take SEPTA bus routes 2, 7, 32, 33 and 48. The Phlash is also a great way to go, with stop number 13 delivering passengers right to Eakins Oval.
With a full calendar of events on tap including live musical performances, interactive arts activities, fitness and wellness activities, movie nights, beer gardens, miniature golf, food trucks and more, The Oval will keep visitors retuning throughout the summer.
Stay tuned for more on this stupendous summertime destination. See you at The Oval!