Newport to Host 100 Life-Size Elephant Sculptures in Unique Cliff Walk Exhibition

Newport is set to welcome a remarkable herd of life-size Indian elephant sculptures as part of an extraordinary Cliff Walk experience from Thursday, July 4, through Saturday, September 7. This initiative, known as The Great Elephant Migration, is a traveling public art exhibition and global fundraising campaign aimed at promoting peaceful coexistence between humans and wildlife. The year-long event, featuring 100 magnificent elephant sculptures, will commence its national tour in Newport.

An international collaboration between Indigenous artisans, contemporary artists, and cultural institutions, The Great Elephant Migration supports Indigenous-led conservation efforts and seeks to inspire humanity to share space with wildlife, echoing the campaign’s core message of empathy and coexistence.

“In the last 40 years, the human population of India has doubled to 1.4 billion, which has coincided with an increase in the number of elephants, rhinos, lions, and tigers in the country,” said Ruth Ganesh, Coexistence Collective co-founder and trustee of the Elephant Family NGO. “The extraordinary success of this compassionate coexistence is a testament to the power of collective empathy.”

The largest herd of 52 elephants will be showcased on the lawn of McAuley Hall, accessible from the Cliff Walk. Additional herds can be viewed at Rough Point, The Breakers, and Great Friends Meetinghouse. The U.S. leg of the migration is presented by Art&Newport, an organization founded by Salve Regina University alumna Dodie Kazanjian ’72, which aims to develop and host city-wide visual arts presentations in Newport.

The best way to experience The Great Elephant Migration is from the Cliff Walk, beginning at Memorial Boulevard at the western end of Easton’s/First Beach, where public parking is available. Alternatively, visitors can park at the Newport Transportation Center and utilize the free hop-on/hop-off shuttle on Route #67, bike, or walk.

“We are thrilled to bring The Great Elephant Migration to Newport,” said Dr. Kelli J. Armstrong, president of Salve Regina University. “This initiative aligns with our community’s values and offers a unique and joyful experience for all.”

Newport’s involvement in The Great Elephant Migration highlights its commitment to arts and culture, while also promoting awareness of global conservation efforts. The exhibition offers residents and visitors alike an opportunity to engage with these magnificent sculptures and learn about the importance of peaceful coexistence between humans and wildlife.




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