Posted on Nov. 10, 2011 at 12:00 a.m.
| Updated on Nov. 10, 2011 at 11:15 a.m.
Editor's note: The previous version of this story incorrectly stated the number of elk. This has since been corrected, and ticket information has been added.
ELKHART — When Donielle Boal found out she would have the chance to decorate one of 30 fiberglass elk that would be placed around the area, she knew exactly what she wanted to paint: her flute.
Boal, a flutist, decorated her elk with musical notes and instruments to celebrate Elkhart's history of producing musical instruments. The flute she has used all her life, a Gemeinhardt, came from Elkhart.
“That was the one theme I really connected with,” she said of her elk, which was displayed at the Central Park.
The Elk Art on Parade display might be over, but there is still a chance to see them all together — or even snag your own. “The Gathering of the Herd” will be at the Lerner from 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 17. Proceeds from donations for admission will benefit Child and Parent Services.
Inspired by her Native American heritage, Mary Masters decorated her elk, “Healing Heart,” with the story of how Elkhart got its name. A descendant of Chief Pierre Moran, she learned the story that people traveling on the St. Joseph River saw an island in the shape of an elk's heart.
Masters paints for a puzzle company and let people watch as she painted the fiberglass elk in her store in Shipshewana.
“I wanted to share the story that was told to me and I hope this story will be told again and again,” Masters said. Her elk was displayed at the Havilah Beardsley House and is one of the few not available for purchase.
Most of the elk will auctioned Nov. 18, with proceeds going to CAPS. The auction begins at 8 p.m. at the Lerner, with cocktails at 6 p.m. Tickets are $200. Call CAPS at 295-2277 for more information.
Boal said she will be at the auction to say goodbye to her elk. Of all the art projects she's done, this was one of the most personal.
“That flute is a huge part of my life,” Boal said. “It was kind of like I got to honor the city that gave it to me.”