Ranch & Coast Magazine – Elephant Art

Del Mar Couple Follows Their Passion to Help Artisans in Need
Del Mar Couple Follows Their Passion to Help Artisans in Need
Elephant Art
On a recent trip to northern Thailand, Del Mar residents Liz Allen and Mark Fangue, founders of Exotic World Gifts, Inc., discovered elephants who could paint realistic art with their trunks. They took an eight-minute video of an elephant painting, and posted it on their Web site and on YouTube. Today, the company sells the elephant paintings online, but there is a much deeper meaning to it all. “The video is, for many, unbelievable, but is nevertheless true,” notes Allen.
“The deeper story to be told is the connection between the elephants’ gifts of art and our connection to them and the villagers who train them. We learned much from the villagers about the lives of each elephant and the need to preserve the Asian elephant from extinction. We realized there was no other decision to be made but to pay the villagers sustainable wages and help their conservation mission by expanding U.S. distribution of this amazing art.” Allen and Fangue stand strongly behind the tenants of the Fair Trade Federation. (www.exoticworldgifts.com) — Mia Stefanko, photo by Jennifer Nelson
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