A Dozen New Murals to Pop up Around Covington, Including a Giant Colonel Sanders

The mural installation kicked off this week, and all 12 are slated for completion by the end of this year.

click to enlarge Johnathan Queen's mockup of the "Shogun Sanders" mural. - Photo: Provided by meetNKY.
Photo: Provided by meetNKY.
Johnathan Queen's mockup of the "Shogun Sanders" mural.
A giant Colonel Sanders and an "out of this world" sculpture are coming to Northern Kentucky streets near you.

The king of Kentucky Fried Chicken is the subject of a mural with 3D elements, and one of a dozen new art installations launched this week by the City of Covington’s Quality of Place grant program and meetNKY, which also includes the highly anticipated sculpture named "Clive."

The announcement and installation inception coincides with the 40th anniversary of National Travel and Tourism Week (May 7-13). The 12 Quality of Place grant recipients represent businesses, organizations or individual residents of NKY whose creative, winning ideas aim to enhance the city’s business districts via art projects.

City of Covington Economic Development Director Tom West says the installations represent why Covington is the “bold side of the river” and have the potential to create new landmarks.

“Covington continues to attract new companies, residents and visitors to Northern Kentucky, in large part because of the economic investments being made at local, state and federal levels,” West said in a press release. “We are embracing the qualities that make this the ‘bold side of the river,’ and these art installations will serve as a canvas for our artists to showcase their creativity while inspiring visitors to our city.”

In partnership with The Center for Great Neighborhoods, the Quality of Place grant recipients were able to request $1,000-$30,000. According to the grant application, the projects will build a sense of place through public art.

“Shogun Sanders” is materializing on Main Street at Earth to Kentucky. The mural is inspired by Japanese culture and Mr. KFC himself. The mural is being painted by Kentucky-born artist Jonathan Queen, whose other murals are featured throughout downtown Cincinnati.

A design mockup of “Shogun Sanders” shows Colonel Sanders towering over an extra-terrestrial scene.

In partnership with Covington’s digital specialists, AlloyFX, an “out of this world” sculpture will occupy the Midtown Parking Garage at Fifth and Scott streets. meetNKY provided additional funding to AlloyFX on top of the Quality of Place grant in order to bring “Clive” the sculpture to life.

AlloyFX, which specializes in 3D animation and modeling, technology and design, is making “Clive” out of fiberglass and Styrofoam. According to a press release, “Clive” will be “unlike anything Northern Kentucky has seen before.” Other details are left to the imagination until the install is complete.

A group of local bike advocates will activate the intersection at Greenup and Third streets. “Go with Glo” is a highlight of all things bicycle and adds benches and planters to space near the Roebling Bridge.

meetNKY President and CEO Julie Kirkpatrick said in a press release that, “‘Clive’s’ arrival, which we’re keeping a bit of a secret for now, and the projects that follow him are destined to turn that attention into foot traffic for other businesses in Northern Kentucky. Covington’s investment in the arts encourages local talent to pursue their craft here and also showcases the prowess of our arts scene to those outside of the region.”

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