Elephants at sunrise, Rough Point Mansion. Photo by Corey Favino

The Great Elephant Migration Makes Grand Entrance in Newport

Art&Newport and Elephant Family USA Celebrate Arrival of 100 Life-Sized Elephant Sculptures

Art&Newport and Elephant Family USA marked a significant milestone this week with the debut of “The Great Elephant Migration” in Newport, Rhode Island. This inaugural U.S. tour showcases 100 life-sized Indian elephant sculptures, embarking on a 3,500-mile journey across America. Visitors can admire these impressive artworks at iconic Newport locations such as the Great Friends Meeting House, the Cliff Walk at Salve Regina University, The Breakers, and Rough Point from July 4 to September 2.

Photo by Corey Favino, Courtesy Elephant Family USA and Newport Restoration Foundation

Art&Newport complements this event with exhibitions from renowned artists like Hadi Falapishi. The Newport leg kicked off with Falapishi’s “SEARCHERS,” a multi-sited exhibition featuring 100 paintings, sculptures, and whimsical objects that interact with the elephant sculptures. “SEARCHERS” will be displayed at Rough Point and the Great Friends Meeting House starting July 4, with an additional exhibit opening at The Breakers on August 1.

The festivities began on July 1 with an exclusive cocktail event. Hosted by Elephant Family USA Trustee Ruth Ganesh, Art&Newport Founder Dodie Kazanjian, and Newport Restoration Foundation President Frankie Vagnone, the event featured music, speeches, and multi-faith blessings. Attendees, including Hadi Falapishi, Waris Ahluwalia, Maddie Moon, Edith McBean, and Minnie Cushing, showered the sculptures with flower petals in a celebratory gesture.

Somanatha Sastry Dwibhashi, Ruth Ganesh. Matt Borkowski/BFA.com

The elephant sculptures were crafted by the Coexistence Collective, a group of 200 Indigenous artisans from India’s Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. Made from the invasive Lantana camara weed, these artworks symbolize the elephants with whom the artisans share their land. The sculptures are paired with conservation NGOs in the USA and beyond, benefiting from their sale.

This collaboration, blending Indigenous craftsmanship with contemporary art and U.S. cultural institutions, aims to support Indigenous-led conservation efforts and promote peaceful coexistence between humans and animals. Following Newport, “The Great Elephant Migration” will travel to New York City, Miami, Blackfeet Nation, Buffalo Pastures in Browning, Montana, and Los Angeles over the next year.

The Great Elephant Migration | Hadi Falapishi: SEARCHERS

Exhibition Information

Rough Point July 4 – September 2, 2024

680 Bellevue Avenue

Newport, RI

Outdoor Installation and Indoor Exhibition open Tuesdays–Sundays, 10:00 am–5:00 pm

Great Friends Meeting House | July 4 – September 1, 2024
21 Farewell Street 
Newport, RI 02840
Outdoor installation open daily: Sunrise to Sunset
Indoor exhibition open: Friday-Sunday, 12:00 pm—4:00 pm

Salve Regina University | July 4 – September 2, 2024
100 Ochre Point Ave, Newport, RI 02840
Outdoor installation open daily, sunrise to sunset, accessible via the Cliff Walk.

The Breakers | July 4 – September 2, 2024
44 Ochre Point Ave, Newport, RI 02840
Outdoor installation open daily, 10:00 am—6:00 pm 
An exhibition by Hadi Falapishi will open at The Breakers on August 1, 2024, with the same opening hours.




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