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Artist adds aliens to UFO as part of Clark County art program

Updated May 20, 2017 - 8:41 pm

The aliens have landed — and local sculptor Jesse Carson Smigel’s latest contribution to Southern Nevada’s public art landscape is complete.

Smigel’s “I Told You Not to Paint It Hot Orange!” features a crashed UFO, 19 feet in diameter, in the roundabout in front of the Clark County Shooting Complex at 11357 N. Decatur Blvd. (In keeping with its location at the shooting complex, the UFO resembles a clay pigeon.)

The sculpture is part of Clark County’s “Centered” program, which transforms empty road islands with site-specific works budgeted at $17,500 each.

Smigel’s downed spacecraft has been there since last summer, but the UFO’s occupants didn’t materialize until Thursday, when the artist placed two alien figures alongside their no-longer-flying saucer.

In creating the work, Smigel — who describes himself as “a Battle Born sculptor with plenty of Nevadatude” — imagines a scenario in which “a young alien couple” bought their first flying disc from an Area 51 used UFO dealer: “Crazy Ernie’s Mega Emporium of Cigar, Triangular and Disc-Shaped Crafts.”

Not long after leaving Crazy Ernie’s, however, the UFO starts making strange noises, triggering a red alert — and emergency landing protocols.

“As the craft drifts over the Nevada desert in search of safe landing, it finds itself gliding above the Clark County Shooting Complex,” Smigel writes, “and in the sights of local skeet shooting enthusiasts” who, “in a moment of vain spurious correlation” believe “they are now responsible for the disc’s ever-increasing relationship to the ground.”

Contact Carol Cling at ccling@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272. Follow @CarolSCling on Twitter.

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