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The Art of the Benefit

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Money Raised At Eugene Sargent Party To Help Defray Medical Expenses

If you live in Fayetteville, your life has been positively affected by the work of Eugene Sargent. The Lincoln artist designed that cool flower bench you sat on near the Castle at Wilson Park. He put together the modern bulletin board you consult on the west side of the Square.

He’s devised the look of all of Arsaga’s coffee shops. He’s done signs for Bordino’s and doors for Jose’s. Innumerable homes in the area sport a lamp, a countertop, a planter or a garden sculpture from his studio.

The Fayetteville Free Weekly and before it, the old Grapevine newspaper, both were shaped by his artistic sensibility in layouts, advertising and cartoons. He’s an adaptable artist.

“I just tell him what I want, chairs, light fixtures, a sign, but he always makes it so much more,” says Carey Arsaga. “He’ll say, ‘Why don’t we do this or add that.’ I’m always amazed at the end product. He’s made all my businesses better than I ever imagined.”

Artist Hank Kaminsky of Fayetteville has been a friend and mentor for Sargent. Eugene once lived in an apartment behind the Kaminsky’s Art Experience and spent most of his time there casting jewelry and small statues.

“Mechanical stuff interests him — as opposed to the theoretical,” Kaminsky said. “He’s not interested in abstract concepts so much as things that work. He looks for answers under the surface. I’ve seen him pick and pick at the surface of something till he finds a way in and he goes inside to work with the truth of the thing.”

Sargent has been a bright light for our community from his youngest days. As winner of the National Science Fair competition, he earned an award from the Nobel Prize committee. He attended the Stockholm ceremony and appeared on Swedish TV in a discussion with several laureates. Later, he bailed out of a full-ride Stanford University scholarship because the school didn’t value the things he did. He came home.

“If he’d been a bit more avaricious, we’d never have seen him again.” Kaminsky said.

It just doesn’t seem right that Eugene Sargent recently got a diagnosis of lymphoma. He’s being effectively treated for it, but at great expense.

So his friends are having a party Sunday, July 22, at 5:30 p.m. at the Greenhouse Grill to benefit Sargent, his wife, Anna, and their two daughters Aura and Lavender Tahlula.

The benefit will have food and feature live music. But, wait, there’s more — Kaminsky and his wife, Joanne, are gathering paintings, pottery, tie-dyes, ceramics, massage certificates, a brand new cigar box guitar and whatever else they can beg off folks for an auction.

Some things will be in the silent auction, but others will go in a live auction for a bit more fun. To make your donation, call 283-4842.

Organizers ask those who won’t be there to send a little sum along with a friend who will attend. Small amounts add up to a big, “WHEW!” July 22 — a Sunday evening — at
5:30 p.m. — Greenhouse Grill.

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