Jul 3

Experiments in Creative Placemaking with The Oval+

by: Laura Kochman

This year marks the fifth time that we’ve partnered up with Fairmount Park Conservancy and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation for The Oval+: a month-long activation that transforms the eight acres of Eakins Oval into a dynamic public space. For most of the year, the Oval consists of parking spaces and busy lanes of traffic, but for the hottest days of the summer, it becomes a community park full of programming.

Since The Oval+ began in 2013, Mural Arts has been involved in one way or another, so we thought it would be fun to look back at past designs. What was your favorite?

2013: The Beach 

The Beach at the Oval in 2013. Photo by Steve Weinik.

2015: Summer Kaleidoscope 

  • The opening at the Summer Kaleidoscope Oval. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • Summer Kaleidoscope © 2015 Mural Arts Philadelphia / Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn. Eakins Oval. Photo by Steve Weinik.

2016: Rhythm and Hues 

  • Artist Brad Carney jumps across a portion of Rhythm & Hues during the murals' installation. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • Rhythm and Hues © 2016 Mural Arts Philadelphia / Brad Carney. Photo by Dave Tavani.

2017: What’s Your Parkway, Philly? 

  • What’s Your Parkway, Philly? at Eakins Oval, designed by PORT Urbanism. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • What’s Your Parkway, Philly? at Eakins Oval, designed by PORT Urbanism. Photo by Steve Weinik.

2018: More Park, More Play 

From July 20 to August 19, this year’s experiment in creative placemaking goes farther than we’ve ever gone before, with the largest footprint ever—an additional 22,000 square feet of artwork! Members of our Guild program and summer interns are hard at work on ground murals designed with Heads of State. This year’s design highlights the transition from park to city and back again, integrating with large-scale installations developed by PORT Urbanism.

From oversized furniture to a massive sandbox, from an 800-square-foot misting pavilion to food trucks and family fun days—we can’t wait.

Last updated: Jul 3, 2018

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