"Re-Tire" Drive to Bring Elephant Sculpture to Life

The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee will host a tire collection, July 7-8 at The Sanctuary’s Elephant Discovery Center.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: Kate Mason

June 28, 2017 kate@elephants.com

Hohenwald, Tenn.–— The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee is asking local residents to help bring to life an 8-foot-tall elephant sculpture constructed from recycled tires. The Sanctuary has a dual mission to provide home and herd to retired elephants, and to educate the public on the complex needs of elephants in the wild and in captivity. This “retire” project will introduce the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling to protect the environment for all species.

Recycled tires will serve as the ‘skin’ of the elephant sculpture. The Sanctuary invites the local community to bring their used tires (motorcycle tires are especially useful) to a designated drop off location behind The Elephant Discovery Center in downtown Hohenwald, TN on July 7 and 8. Visitors between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. are invited to come inside the Elephant Discovery Center and meet Sanctuary staff. The elephants’ habitats are closed to the public.

“The Sanctuary is committed to environmental conservation, both locally and globally, for the benefit of elephants and all living beings,” said Todd Montgomery, The Sanctuary’s Education Manager. “We hope that repurposing tires into this life-sized elephant will spark an interest among visitors to learn more about elephants and will connect them to The Sanctuary’s mission of local and global environmental sustainability and conservation.”

Nashville-based artist Alex Lockwood will create the life-size Asian elephant out of community-sourced materials. The final sculpture will be displayed outside the Elephant Discovery Center, and will be revealed August 12—World Elephant Day—as part of the grand opening of The Discovery Center’s Outdoor Classroom.

Lockwood, known for his abstract sculptures created from repurposed and recycled material, is the owner of Elephant Gallery and Studios in North Nashville and a presiding member of Nashville’s Coop Collective, a group of artists, curators, thinkers and professors who are committed to expanding Nashville's dialogue with contemporary art. Alex has had recent exhibits at Oz Arts and Zeitgeist Gallery, and his work is featured at putting hole number 2 at the Nashville Sounds Stadium’s miniature golf course.

The Elephant Discovery Center was built to LEED Standards, on an underground aquifer that provides geothermal heating and cooling to the building. All wood for build-out is FSC-certified, and doesn’t infringe on wild elephants’ habitats. Less than 10 percent of what was removed from the building during demolition went to the dump; all other materials were repurposed or recycled.

The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, located 85 miles southwest of Nashville in Hohenwald, Tenn., provides elephants that have been retired from exhibit or performing with individualized care, the companionship of a herd, and the opportunity to live out their lives in a safe haven dedicated to their wellbeing. The non-profit Sanctuary also works to raise public awareness of the complex needs of elephants in captivity, and the crisis facing elephants in the wild. For more information, visit www.elephants.com or call (931) 796-6500. The Elephant Discovery Center is located at 27 E Main St, Hohenwald, TN 38462. The elephants’ habitats are closed to the public.

Ronnie discovers recycled tire enrichment in her habitat at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee


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