New tennis bench installed, more public art coming to Mount Sequoyah

Artist Eugene Sargent walks beside his new sculpture on Mount Sequoyah in Fayetteville. (Misha Gardner)

The public art collection at Mount Sequoyah Center is growing.

After adding a mural, an outdoor installation, and a sculptural piece last summer, the non-profit center recently unveiled a new piece by local artist Eugene Sargent.

The new work is a bench made in honor of Robert T. Hodous, a former tennis coach at Mount Sequoyah who passed away last year. The bench, which was unveiled at a ceremony held on Jan. 28, overlooks the tennis courts where Hodous conducted lessons on the north side of the center’s campus.

The bench is fashioned to look like four tennis balls and a racquet, with each ball open on one side to create seats facing the courts.

(Misha Gardner)

“This beautiful sculpture, created by local legend Eugene Sargent, is more than just a bench – it’s a tribute to the impact Coach Rob had on our community and the lives of so many,” Mount Sequoyah officials said in a social media announcement. “We hope to see you there as we honor his memory and legacy.”

Plans are also in the works to relocate the deer sculpture that’s currently standing on the lawn of the historic Walker-Stone House in downtown Fayetteville to the Mount Sequoyah campus.

Sargent will help move the piece, called Deer, Half Deer, which was created by Portuguese artist Bordalo II and installed in 2017 as part of the Green Candy art initiative project.

Other works on the campus include Sargent’s “Wedding Arch” piece near the cross overlook, a mural near the entry gate by artist Jody Travis Thompson called “Greetings,” and an installation near Sequoyah Hall titled “Dogwoods and Birds” by artist Ziba Rajabi.

Deer, Half Deer (Flyer Photo/Todd Gill)