Mayor’s Arts Awards Recognizes Local Contributors to the Arts

Mayor’s Arts Awards Recognizes Local Contributors to the Arts

Dave Pedri speaks about the EIO Band Thursday night at the Mayor's Arts Awards. Pedri received one of the arts awards, though he is quick to credit his wife Ruby and the other members who play with him. SweetwaterNOW photo by David Martin

ROCK SPRINGS – A longtime musician, a photographer known for his scenic photos, and an educator working at Western Wyoming Community College joined the Community Fine Arts Center in receiving recognition for their contributions to the arts at the Mayor’s Art Awards Thursday evening. 

Dave Pedri is known to generations of Rock Springs residents as a longtime math teacher at Rock Springs High School, but is as well known for his polka music and the EIO Band he plays with. The band is a fixture at local events like International Day and Concerts in the Park. The band also plays at fundraisers such as the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, the Holy Spirit Catholic School, and KD Foundation’s Juvenile Diabetes run. 

Rock Springs photographer Paul Ng also received recognition for the years he has spent capturing landscapes throughout Wyoming. His photography has been displayed in local and regional exhibitions and has been seen in magazines in the United States and his native Hong Kong. Ng’s passion for photography started in 1987 with a black and white photography course he enrolled in at Western Wyoming Community College. Over the years, he has continued to expand his knowledge and technique.

Advertisement - Story continues below...

The event also recognized Eric-Richard de Lora, the professor of musical theater at Western. He has taught at the college since 2013 and has expanded the musical theater program and the Summer Theater for Youth with Sweetwater BOCES. He has also been an advocate for theater in Sweetwater County and has helped high schools and local theater groups, willing to lend costumes and props and help advertise upcoming performances.

The Community Fine Arts Center in Rock Springs was the final award recipient. The CFAC continues to be a foundation for arts in the county, hosting a variety of classes, temporary exhibitions and the Sweetwater County School District No. 1 art collection, which celebrates its 85th anniversary this year. The collection began when Rock Springs High School teacher Elmer Halseth purchased the painting “Shack Alley” by Henrietta Wood and in subsequent years grew to more than 500 original paintings, prints, works on paper, and photographs. Halseth helped found the CFAC and was its first director.