A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Attention Earthlings: Clive, the alien and public art creation, has come to Covington (he’ll be watching)

By Judy Clabes
NKyTribune editor

Attention Mere Earthlings: meetNKY, AlloyFX, and the City of Covington joined forces to roll out the red carpet for a friendly alien named “Clive.”

Clive, a special creation of Covington’s AlloyFX, headed by Marc Phelps. (Photo by Judy Clabes/NKyTribune)

Clive, otherwise an out-of-this-world art installation, was introduced in a first encounter between the galactic visitor — and the rest of us.

Clive is just one of a dozen unique art installations born out of Covington’s Quality of Place grant program, which seeks to “creatively enhance the physical appearance of the city’s business districts” via public art and other creative elements that enhance fixtures such as benches, bike racks, walls of buildings, etc.

Covington’s aim, said Mayor Joe Meyer, is to have an amazing public art sighting at every turn of a corner in Covington – something that elicits a smile or an open-mouthed surprise or even a delighted chuckle, all of the welcoming and memorable kind. In Covington, there is no limit to creativity and place-making.

Created by Covington’s own AlloyFX, “Clive” is a fiberglass and Styrofoam sculpture that will occupy the Midtown Parking Garage for a limited time (it’s impressive eyes are of a substance used by the aerospace industry).

No, this isn’t an alien, but Covington’s own Mayor Joe Meyer. (Photo by Judy Clabes/NKyTribune)

meetNKY partnered with the organization to provide additional funding specifically for the “Clive” installation.

“Our team has been involved in some insane installations and projects over the years but never in our wildest dreams did we think we’d be bringing an alien to our neighborhood,” said AlloyFX owner and partner Marc Phelps. “Clive would not be possible without the support from strategic partners and sponsors like meetNKY and the City of Covington. We appreciate doing business in a city that embraces creativity and provides public avenues for artists to share their works in.”

To celebrate Clive’s arrival, meetNKY engaged Braxton Brewing Co to create a limited-edition “Clive” beer. Inspired by his emerald skin, the Clive Key Lime Berliner will be available for a limited time. Braxton held an “Out of this World” celebration after the first encounter Friday so that guests could try the special beer release, get up a glow-in-the-dark “Clive” t-shirt (while supplies lasted), make tin foil hats and more.

Clive, unfinished — but in perspective. (Photo by Judy Clabes/NKyTribune)

Jake Rouse of Braxton Brewing praised his team for pouring themselves into the limited-edition, special lime brew and said his creative company was happy to be part of the out-of-this-world project.

Clive’s arrival comes on the heels of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON)’s annual symposium, which took place at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center recently. MUFON is a Cincinnati-based, all-volunteer, non-profit 501(c)3 charitable corporation and the world’s oldest and largest civilian UFO investigation and research organization. meetNKY teased the arrival of Clive at the symposium to encourage repeat visitors to the area.

“Over the last year or so, meetNKY along with many of our outstanding partners across the region, have been cooking up creative ways to exceed pre-pandemic tourism levels,” said meetNKY President and CEO Julie Kirkpatrick. “Attracting conferences and large-scale events, and creative placemaking is a perfect way to do just that. Projects like this are only possible through strong partnerships with local businesses and the economic development community.”

A future for Clive (Photo by Judy Clabes/NKyTribune)

Travel serves as a key economic driving force in the Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati region, powering some 12,000 jobs locally in 2022. The installations are primed to bring curiosity and capital to Covington and surrounding communities.
“Covington continues to attract new companies, residents and visitors,” said City of Covington Economic Development Director Tom West, whose department played a key role in bringing the project to earthly life. “We have put a stake in the ground as the ‘bold side of the river,’ and investing in our public art portfolio with additions like Clive is how we assert that claim.”

Clive will eventually find a permanent place for observing Earthlings — with his handy magnifying glass — from a strategic perch on the Scott Street side of the Midtown Parking Garage. Once there, visitors can snap a photo — no, he won’t mind — and tag him on social media. Clive himself, inspired by the ingenuity and friendly Covington atmosphere, has decided to stay for a while.

He’ll be watching as other creative installations pop up — and artists continue to transform building walls and more into captivating masterpieces.

Curious Clive, settled into his permanent home; a concept. (Photo by Judy Clabes/NKyTribune)

CLIVE’S ORIGIN STORY, so we’re told: In the vibrant galaxy of Artalon, there lived a mischievous green alien named Clive. Clive is a Squizzle, a species known for their love of pranks and exploration. One day, as he was zipping through the cosmos in his interstellar rainbow racer, he caught a glimpse of the shimmering city of Covington below.

Intrigued by the rumors of Covington’s thriving creative community and innovative businesses, Clive couldn’t resist the urge to take a closer look. He parked his racer atop a multi-story parking garage and pulled out his trusty magnifying glass. With his emerald skin glowing in excitement, he leaned over, spying on the city’s inhabitants below.

That’s his story, and he’s sticking to it. Soon, he’ll be sticking to the parking garage too.

Follow @CliveTheAlien on Facebook and Instagram. For additional details on Clive and the alien encounter event, visit meetnky.com

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