KOFFMAN GALLERY – Art with a Smile
Dan Koffman
Koffman Gallery
260 Saylor Road
Camano Island, WA 98282
360-387-3024, or dan@koffman.net
April 9, 2004


On Saturday, April 17th, a man and an elephant will paint for peace in downtown Monterey.

The man is Dan Koffman, artist and owner of Koffman Gallery. His painting partner is a gentle, intelligent, artistic17-year-old African elephant named Lisa.

“Lisa and I paint together to demonstrate how humans and animals can work cooperatively towards a common goal, achieving deeper respect and understanding,” Koffman says. “Just imagine what might happen if people set aside their differences and did the same.”

Thus far, Lisa and Koffman – aka “LisaKoff” – have created 20 collaborative paintings with names such as Masai Morning, Kilamanjaro, and Hot Trumpet. Theirs is a unique, inter-species collaboration. Koffman first paints the canvases with soft shades of mixed color, then Lisa adds her bold, gestured strokes, creating a composition of contrasts . . . soft and bold, human and elephant.

Lisa and Koffman will paint together publicly for the first time from noon to 4 p.m. on April 17th in front of Koffman Gallery at 210 Alvarado Street (by the DoubleTree Hotel and Customs House Plaza) in downtown Monterey.

“On April 17, right here in Monterey, I hope to have the opportunity of introducing Lisa to many, many new friends and helping her expand the foundation of understanding and cooperation between humans and animals,” Koffman says.

100% of the proceeds of the sale of the original paintings and limited editions of 25 each will be donated to EARS (Elephants of Africa Rescue Society), a 501(C)3 non-profit which supports the good work of people working on behalf of elephants.

This very odd couple has a deep connection going back to 1987, the year of Lisa’s birth in Africa and the same year that Koffman founded his international peace effort, The Flag of Peace and Freedom. Their story is chronicled in Koffman’s book, The Man and the Elephant.

A copy of the book, being introduced at the April 17th event, will be given free with a $10 donation to EARS. Koffman will also be introducing “pocket-sized elephant puppets” that he created, and will be given free with a $1 donation to EARS. And everyone will be invited to “Guess the Elephant’s Weight” with the winner receiving a Jumbo print of their choice from Koffman’s other “Art with a Smile” Collections.

Koffman believes that animals like Lisa provide an opportunity for people to be exposed to the majesty and beauty of creatures from other lands, providing information and experiences that help people understand the challenges facing wild animals and what people can do to help them.

“Lisa is an unmistakable reminder that we live in a world worth saving – for humans and elephants!” says Koffman.

Lisa and many other animals live at Wild Things in Salinas where owner Charlie Sammut is at the forefront of a humane and respectful effort on behalf of elephants and many other creatures. Sammut is dedicated to ensuring that animals in captivity (and most especially elephants) are treated with the highest respect and regard. He provides safe harbor to many abandoned or mistreated animals, taking on the responsibility of providing for their health and well being. Few organizations, foundations, or philanthropists today have unlimited resources. Figuring out how humans and animals can work together to underwrite the expenses of food, lodging and care, and doing so appropriately and respectfully, is the name of the game. Charlie has proved that animals can earn their keep working on films and in television while being treated in accordance with, and exceeding, accepted protocols – and with love and respect. Wild Things offers daily tours where visitors can meet and learn about Lisa and her friends.

Trunks up!

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