THE BLOG
12/01/2008 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Elephant Art trunk show paints the town red

Chatting it up with Alex Melmid, founder of the Elephant Art Project. (Dress by Carasan)

We had 300 RSVPS for the Elephant Art trunk show at HOME/Guest House this past Friday. The trunk show and auction served as a fundraiser to purchase land so the elephants could roam freely and safely. Elephants in Asia are almost all domesticated and are either mistreated or neglected. Elephant Art is a rehabilitation program, in which they teach elephants to paint (sort of like art therapy). The paintings are then sold to help rehabilitate the domesticated elephants and conserve the wild ones. Ingenious. At this fundraiser, elephants teamed up with eco-designers to create one-of-a-kind pieces painted by the elephants. Yes, this is all for real! The crowd was young and gregarious; the show was practically on-time; the company was great; and I walked away with one of the dresses I wanted!

I forget what this instrument is called, but it's tre cool.

An Elephant paints

I meet Jeff Garner from Prophetik before the show.

Vote Elephant.

An Elephant Art painting hangs on the wall

Makeup artist behind-the-scenes at Elephant Art

"I vant to do you hair." The hair stylist extraordinaire.

Behind-the-scenes with the mods

David introduces the Elephant Art movie.

Andrew Bicknell captures a smile from the front row.

First look of the night: A Dayna Hall purple thai silk dress painted by the elephant, Noppakhao.

I got this natural organic silk charmeuse spaghetti strap cocktail dress designed by Prophetik and painted by Ging Gaow.

I was outbid on this dress by Velvet Leaf Designs and splatter painted by elephant, Ging Gaow

On stage with Lauren and David after the runway show.

"Thanks for coming!"

Alex chats it up with the models after the Elephant Art trunk show.

Models pose with Lauren Bush (Founder of Feed Bags) after the show.

I know it's hard to believe, but all these eco-fashion dresses were "trunk-painted" by elephants and designed by a number of eco-fashion designers.

Hand-made guitar painted by elephant

The ambiance at Elephant Art trunk show at HOME/Guest House

Photos compliments of Andrew Bicknell Photography


I first covered Elephant Art on Treehugger's gift guide. A friend of another Udall Scholar that I knew (Matt MacMahon) named Serge noticed me in the subway and passed on David's Elephant Art card. He encouraged me to take a look at the organization. A month went by before I pulled out the card. I reached out to David to touch base with him about his organization; covered the organization for Treehugger/Discovery Networks; and the rest is history. Watch elephants actually paint and find out more about the rehabilitation and conservation efforts of Elephant Art.