100 Life-Sized Indian Elephant Sculptures Embark on Symbolic U.S. Journey in “The Great Elephant Migration

Starting in Newport, The Public Art Project Aims to Raise Millions for Conservation Efforts Around the World.

Elephant Family is dedicated to protecting Asia's magnificent wildlife— today unveiling the U.S. phase of The Great Elephant Migration. This marks the first time the traveling public art exhibition and fundraising initiative will arrive stateside, with a 3,500-mile Migration of 100 elephant sculptures set to travel to Newport, New York City, Miami, Blackfeet Nation, Buffalo Pastures in Browning, Montana, and Los Angeles through 2025.

An international collaboration between Indigenous artisans, contemporary artists, and cultural institutions, The Great Elephant Migration aims to support Indigenous-led conservation efforts and inspire peaceful human and animal coexistence.

Each elephant in the 100-strong herd has been created by The Coexistence Collective, a community of 200 indigenous artisans from the Bettakurumba, Paniya, Kattunayakan and Soliga communities of India’s Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Tamil Nadu.


Nilgiri Elephant In The Mist

The collective has recreated every elephant they live alongside in intricately detailed sculptural form. The elephants are made from Lantana camara, one of the world’s top invasive weeds, which encroaches upon over 40% of India's protected areas. Furthermore, each elephant is twinned with a conservation NGO in the USA and beyond whose work will directly benefit from the sale of their sculpture.

“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,” says Coexistence Collective Co-Founder and Elephant Family Trustee Ruth Ganesh. “The extraordinary success of this compassionate coexistence is a testament to the power of collective empathy. Our magnificent herd is here to tell its story, inspiring the human race to share space and be part of this transformative movement.”

Following an expansive UK tour in the summer of 2021, which attracted 5 million spectators in total, the herd is now set to embark on a one-year campaign across the United States, spreading joy and wonder, reaching new audiences with its messages, and engaging environmental partners along the way.

Anatomically Perfect Replicas Of The Real Wild Elephants In The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve

The U.S. Migration is presented by Art&Newport, a nonprofit art organization that brings international artists and art to Newport, founded by Dodie Kazanjian. The Migration will commence on July 4th in Newport alongside a series of multidisciplinary art installations by artist Hadi Falapishi and curated by Kazanjian. Falapishi will create an expansive body of work specifically for this project, which will be displayed at several of the town’s most storied mansions and historic sites, including the Solarium at Rough Point Museum, the Great Friends Meeting House, and the great hall at The Breakers. The herd of 100 elephants will be dispersed and installed just outside these locations, creating a dialogue with Falapishi’s work and a remarkable and immersive experience for visitors.

“The vision of 100 hand-made Indian elephants migrating across America, in my mind, is a monumental, cinematic, and moving work of performance art,” says Art&Newport founder Dodie Kazanjian. “I could not think of a project more aligned with the mission and values of Art&Newport, and we are so honored to be the first location in the U.S. to engage with this work.”

During July and August, a majority of the herd will be installed at Salve Regina University, accessible from the Cliff Walk, near historic McAuley Hall. Salve’s student “Cliff Walk Ambassadors” will act as docents in the Cliff Walk area surrounding the campus to educate tourists about the initiative as part of their community immersion coursework.

After Newport, the elephants will migrate to New York City's Meatpacking District, arriving on September 6. Programming and activations will continue into late October, allowing visitors to experience the elephants at key gateways and plazas throughout the neighborhood. In December, in collaboration with Faena Art and The Reef Line, with support from Xerjoff, the Italian fragrance company, the elephants will make their way to Miami for Art Week, where further programming and artist interventions will take place, to be announced soon.

Following installations on the East Coast, the herd will make its way west for the final leg of the Migration from the Buffalo Pastures of Blackfeet Nation, Montana into Los Angeles. This journey will involve a convoy of 100 jeeps adorned with Indian lorry art, each towing a single elephant sculpture. From rugged mountains and breathtaking vistas to the vibrant streets of L.A., this journey will symbolize the experience of migratory animals in a human-dominated world.

The Great Elephant Migration is made possible with support from the Official Merchandise Partner and Sponsor of the Newport exhibition: LOVE BRAND & Co. The go-to purveyor of effortlessly chic beachwear for the family and with a greater purpose, LOVE BRAND & Co. will be supporting the Newport exhibition with a pop-up shop of elephant-themed clothing and merchandise. The Great Elephant Migration is also made possible by logistical support from IBI International Fine Art Logistics.

Elephants have matriarchal structures, with each herd led by an older, experienced female, so it is only natural that The Great Elephant Migration is a women-led conservation effort. The Matriarchy is a group of influential women across diverse fields, including environmentalists, philanthropists, storytellers and creatives, which will rally support for human-wildlife coexistence throughout the Migration. Members of the Matriarchy include Cher, Kristin Davis, Dr. Sylvia Earle, and more to be announced.

Corey Favino, Courtesy Elephant Family And Newport Restoration Foundation

The Great Elephant Migration is supporting a large-scale initiative to shred vast areas of Lantana from India’s Protected Areas and convert it into biochar. By the end of 2025, they will have sequestered 2625 tons of carbon and created more than 500 jobs for Indigenous communities through this effort. The total estimated carbon emissions for the creation, shipping and transportation of the herd is between 250 and 400 tons, depending on the exact vehicles used. A detailed carbon projection report will be available at the beginning of the Migration and a complete carbon emission and sequestration audit will be published at the end of the Migration.

The Great Elephant Migration supports conservation NGOs around the world who have found ways to live alongside lions, leopards, elephants, and some of the planet’s most vulnerable animals.

For more information about the Migration or to buy an elephant, please visit