A bronze deer statue now sits atop a granite perch on Mulberry Street.
The 5-foot-long stag statue was unveiled Tuesday by the Macon Arts Alliance. The statue, found in the mountains of North Carolina, “represents the area’s indigenous wildlife as he towers over the small, diagonal park, proudly displaying an impressive sculpted rack with a nod,” according to the group.
But the stag, named Art, also has another meaning to Carey Pickard, who worked with the alliance to secure a grant.
The statue is situated on a small plot across the street from The Cannonball House. Art replaces a bronze elk statue that was removed in 1990.
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“I remember as a child the giant elk that was here, and I remember him fondly, but this is not an elk we’re bringing back today. This is a stag, and he represents in my mind the revitalization of this community,” Pickard said. “We are in what I think of as a real renaissance today, and Art is a symbol of this renaissance.”
The statue was paid for with a $15,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Central Georgia. It was provided through a Downtown Challenge Grant, supported by the Peyton Anderson Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
The former Elk statue was erected in 1941 by the Benevolent and Protected Order of Elks organization outside its Mulberry Street lodge. Club members from Decatur wanted to donate the statue to a children’s hospital after the Macon club’s charter was revoked in 1989.
But those plans fell through because the statue’s metal was too soft to weld back on the antlers, tail and legs.
The elk statue was first located at Second Street and Cotton Avenue.
Information from the Telegraph archives was used in this report. Telegraph writer Laura Corley contributed to this report.