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Summer Arrival: Newport, R.I. Welcomes 100 Life-Sized Elephant Statues

Newport will be the art exhibit’s inaugural destination out of six planned “migrations” scheduled throughout the year-long showcase.

A city in New England is slated to host the first leg of an extraordinary display featuring 100 life-sized elephant sculptures on the move this summer.

Commencing in July, several verdant spaces in Newport, R.I., will transform into a temporary sanctuary for an art installation titled “The Great Elephant Migration.” Newport marks the primary stop among the six designated locations for the exhibition, which will be open for public viewing over the course of a year.

Organized by Elephant Family USA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to safeguarding Asian wildlife, the exhibit aims to underscore and advocate for harmonious cohabitation between humans and wildlife.

“The exhibition seeks to initiate meaningful dialogues about our densely populated planet, the repercussions of human intrusion into natural habitats, and the inspiring possibilities for harmonious existence with all living creatures that share the Earth with humanity,” expressed project manager James Reimer in a recent communication to the city.:

During their stay in Newport, the elephant sculptures will be dispersed across lawns at prominent sites such as Rough Point, The Breakers, Salve Regina University, and Great Friends Meeting House, as outlined in the project proposal. The exhibition is scheduled to run from July 1 to September 6.

Each elephant is meticulously crafted by indigenous Indian artisans

The collection of 100 Indian elephant sculptures includes “XL” adult males, regular adult males, adult females, sub-adults, and calves. The largest among them—the XL males—will weigh up to 800 pounds and stand at heights of up to 10 feet, according to project officials.

Every sculpture is handcrafted by The Coexistence Collective, comprising over 200 indigenous Indian artisans from diverse tribal backgrounds.

“Over the past five years, this collective has painstakingly brought each elephant to life, drawing upon generations of observation and experience rooted in their indigenous cultures’ profound connection to nature and wildlife,” as stated in the project proposal.

The project’s commitment to human-nature coexistence is evident in the choice of material for the sculptures. Each individual sculpture is fashioned from dried Lantana Camara, one of the world’s leading invasive plant species, aimed at “eradicating the weed from protected areas” and creating “more room for wildlife.”


Throughout the exhibition in Newport, the organizers will collaborate with Save the Bay, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to marine conservation. Besides raising awareness for the organization and its primary fundraising event of the year, Elephant Family will be making a $10,000 donation to Save the Bay.

Elephants on a cross-country journey across the U.S.

Following Newport, the herd of elephant sculptures will journey to Manhattan, N.Y.; Miami Beach, Fla.; Yellowstone National Park, Wyo.; and conclude their migration in Los Angeles, Calif., in September 2025.


The exhibit had its debut and previously traveled to BOS in 2021.

The entire installation and upkeep costs of the exhibit will be covered by Elephant Family, as per project documents.

“We firmly believe that this impactful exhibition has the potential to pique significant public interest and bolster Newport’s standing as a vibrant hub for culture and environmental awareness,” Reimer articulated in the project proposal.

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