Barack Obama in Philly: Joe Biden Told Me to “Get on the Wentz Wagon”

Barack Obama came to Philadelphia, and there was one thing on his mind: Carson Wentz.

Okay, he had more on his mind than just the Eagles’ new starting quarterback. But Obama opened his speech at Eakins Oval today talking about Wentz, and the Eagles’ upcoming game against the Bears. “Some of you may have seen Joe Biden at the Eagles game,” Obama said. “He told me, ‘Barack, you’ve got to get on the Wentz Wagon!’ We’ve got a new quarterback. We have hope in Philly.… I am a Bears fan. And we play Philly next Monday night! So I’ve got to stick with my team, but I am going to go to Philly and scout out what all the fuss is about.” Read more »

15 Outstanding Philly Arts Moments in 2015

Ticket arts writers weigh in on what they think are the most important local arts moments of 2015. 

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Lisette Oropesa’s in Opera Philly’s “Traviata”

Brava, Diva!

It’s been a banner year generally for Opera Philadelphia, but Lisette Oropesa’s Violetta in Traviata (her first performance of the role) was special. The beautiful young soprano met every vocal demand — fiendishly difficult as they may have been – and acted it superbly. Opera lovers around the world pay attention to debuting Violettas – the great ones are so rare. Here in Philly, we found one. —David Fox

Philadelphia Film Society Saves the Prince

The gorgeous Prince Theater seemed to be in quite a bit of limbo: The resident production company had vacated a number of years ago, and their presentations were random at best. With PFS purchasing the building, the theater has becoming a bustling hub not only for movies (it’s now the only mainstream movie theater in Center City) but performing arts, and their Razz Room is hosting some of the hottest NYC cabaret acts around. —Bryan Buttler

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PHOTOS: Check Out the Oval Before It’s Covered in People

Oval Beer Garden

Workers putting the finishing touches on the colorful beer garden.

After being delayed after yesterday’s rain storm, the Fairmount Park Conservancy and Philadelphia Parks and Recreation are ready to officially open Eakins Oval tonight on the Parkway at 5 pm. I stopped by this afternoon to check out the space before the hordes come rushing in.

If you can, try to get there early so you can see the massive mural that’s been painted on the ground. Called Summer Kaleidoscope, it was done in collaboration with Mural Arts and Baltimore-based artist team Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn. Unterhalter and Truhn came up with the design and overlooked a team of 10 or 15 Mural Arts artists who laid down the paint—about 15 colors in all. One of those artists, Nathaniel Lee, was kind enough to take me up on a crane to get a bird’s-eye view of the mural in all its glory.

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Check Out the Awesome Mural Being Painted On the Ground at the Oval

The Oval opens this Thursday, July  16th, with an evening of activities including food trucks, face paintings and beer gardens, but the thing I’m most excited about is the huge, abstract and colorful mural that’s going to blanket the ground of the Oval while you take in all the summer’s activities.

The floor of The Oval will be emblazoned with a dynamic artwork called Summer Kaleidoscope by Baltimore-based artist team Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn, who work with a mission to “transform public spaces into colorful vibrant experiences.” They’ve teamed up with Mural Arts on a piece they’re currently putting the final touches on. It’s expected to be completed by July 15th. According to press materials, the duo’s work has ranged from large-scale murals and installations to sculpture that’s been featured all over the globe.

On Sunday, Mural Arts released a photo by Kate Jacobi that shows the progress. It looks fantastic, almost seeming to bleed right in to the Parkway as it juts off to City Hall. Check it out below, and for more details about this week’s opening party, go here.

Progress continues on Summer Kaleidoscope, Jessie Unterhalter & Katey Truhn’s new mural for The Oval. The Jessie, Katey,…

Posted by City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program on Sunday, July 12, 2015

12 Great Places to Catch an Outdoor Movie in Philly This Summer

All summer, organizations across the city are setting up their projectors to host free screenings of American classics, mega blockbusters and even a few Philly premieres. Spray on the bug repellant and lay out under the stars. If you’re looking for a cheep date or an evening activity the whole family can enjoy, here are some options to choose from.

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Is Big Eakins Oval Exhibit Ripping Off Philly Artist?

Left: The "Future Sensations" pavilion; Right: The artist's work.

Left: The “A Reflection of Progress” pavilion; Right: Joe Boruchow’s “A Closed System”

Eager Philadelphians have been waiting with bated breath for the opening of The Oval’s “Future Sensations” exhibit, a giant light-up series of installations that have been touring around the globe. But there’s one local artist who isn’t looking forward to the show as he claims that the event’s sponsor, Parisian building materials company Saint-Gobain, ripped off his own design for one of the giant installations. Read more »

The Oval Releases Full Summer 2015 Schedule

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As we mentioned before, Eakins Oval will kick off for the season on May 30th, with a massive light-up art installation out of France called “Future Sensations.”

That closes on June 6th, which leaves the whole summer open on the beloved park on the Parkway. Today we’re getting word about what organizers have planned for the 2015 season. As in years past, The Oval will host a variety of activities—from live music, movie nights, yoga, a rotating lineup of food trucks and a beer garden—that will run from July 15th to sometime in August. Here’s a general overview of what you can expect each day of the week:

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The Oval Kicks Off with Something New from Yards

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This Wednesday, July 16th, Eakins Oval will transform into more than just a parking lot on the Parkway. For the second summer, The Oval returns, as Philadelphia’s Parks and Recreation partnered with the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the Association for Public Art, changes the otherwise dull space into a public park. The Oval will be used to promote the parkway as a space all Philadelphians can utilize and enjoy, not just those looking for daytime parking.

The kick-off event will feature music, food, BEER and a performance by the Philadelphia Rhythmic Academy. The space also doubles as a canvas for this year’s art installation and theme entitled, Magic Carpet by the artist Candy Coated.

Yards Brewery will also be debuting something for Philadelphians to get excited about. The brewery will be launching their new concoction, the Fairmount Park Ale. The new brew is “for outbeersy folk” so there’s no better place to enjoy it than outdoors at The Oval, right? Do we even need to say more? Well, Yards will also be the exclusive draught beer at The Oval. The Fairmount Ale will always be available, plus a rotating tap.

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