This week, the Oval gets a little more fun — as if that was possible.
Local artist Candy Coated — formerly known as Candy Depew — was commissioned by the Association for Public Art to create a "Magic Carpet" for the Oval — the pop-up park on the Parkway that returns this week.
Magic Carpet is a brightly colored installation featuring five main areas including diamond-shaped rondelle forms that will appear three dimensional. Giant butterflies and hopstoch bookend the site that also features oversize buoys, painted with leaf images and embellished with reflective material, according to the artist.
"It appeals to the kid inside everybody," Candy said. "When people see it, it does something to them, in their heart area."
The aPA reached out to Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and Fairmount Park Conservancy after the first Oval debuted last year. They suggested using Candy for this year's motif after last year's beach theme.
"We're taking it to the next level and really incorporating the artist's theme for this year's Oval," said Caitlyn Martin, aPA spokeswoman.
Candy also decorated umbrellas that will go on top of cafe tables and oversized chess and checker boards. Illusions, lighting and movements will stimulate all the senses, Candy said.
"It's a beautiful colorful environment that will hopefully make people leave daytime life for a little bit and be in and on a painting of color," Candy said.
On Wednesday, Mayor Michael Nutter will help kick off the official Oval summer season. Live music, interactive arts, cultural activities, health and wellness activities, movie nights, beer gardens, mini golf, food trucks and more will be on hand for the rest of the summer.