Newport welcomes display of 100 life-sized elephant statues

Newport welcomes display of 100 life-sized elephant statues

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NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — Starting on July 4 and throughout August, Newport can experience the Great Elephant Migration, a collection of 100 life-sized elephant statues along the Cliff Walk.


The Great Elephant Migration is a traveling art exhibit that encourages humans to share space, particularly helping non-profit organizations that are indigenous-led, according to its website. Each elephant is paired with a conservation non-profit that benefits from the proceeds of elephant sculpture sales.

The sale of these elephants in Newport will support Save The Bay, helping fund initiatives to remove invasive reeds found in local salt marshes.

“It’s exciting for Newport to offer and display a new type of attraction, particularly for families that will be visiting with children,” Newport Councilor-at-Large Jeanne Napolitano told 12 News. “We received a bonus this year, in that we also have the opening of Save The Bay Museum. Both attractions will be great and educational fun for the whole family.”

The elephants were handcrafted by a community of 200 indigenous artisans, known as The Coexistence Collective, from India’s Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve over the last five years. The art exhibit will be delivered by Elephant Family USA, which is a UK-registered charity working to protect Asian wildlife.

Elephant Family works to build landscapes that support coexistence between humans and wildlife, hoping to combat the shrinking of natural habitats as the human population expands.

The life-sized herd of elephants has migrated from India to the United Kingdom, and is now arriving in the United States.

Local organization Art&Newport will be presenting this public art display, as they aim to develop and host a series of city-wide visual arts presentations in Newport. According to their website, this display upholds their belief that contemporary art is an international language that often deals powerfully and directly with the most pressing issues of our time.

The display will begin at the entrance near Easton’s Beach. Elephants will be placed throughout the walk at Salve Regina University, the Breakers, and Rough Point, leading to the Great Friends Meeting House.

Newport Locations and Times:

  • Rough Point, 680 Bellevue Avenue: Tuesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Great Friends Meeting House, 21 Farewell Street: Outdoor installation open daily, sunrise to sunset, inside exhibition open Monday-Friday, noon to 4 p.m.
  • Salve Regina University, 100 Ochre Point Avenue: Open daily from sunrise to sunset, accessible via the Cliff Walk.
  • The Breakers, 44 Ochre Point Avenue: Outdoor installation open daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.