RSHS Celebrates 80th Anniversary of Art Collection

High school science teacher Elmer Halseth created a lasting legacy for Rock Springs when he organized the students’ fundraising efforts to purchase art for the school’s walls. The public is invited to a celebration of the 80th anniversary of the first painting purchased. It will be held at the Community Fine Arts Center on Oct. 17th from 5 to 7 pm.

ROCK SPRINGS– Sweetwater County School District #1 and the Community Fine Arts Center are holding a public celebration for the 80th anniversary of the first painting purchased by teacher Elmer Halseth and the Rock Springs High School students. The reception will be held at the CFAC on October 17th from 5 to 7 pm.

The art collection was started by a group of students encouraged by Halseth to raise money through bake sales, holding school carnivals, and even collecting scrap metal.  It originally hung in the high school library and classrooms for the students to learn about and appreciate the visual arts. 

It has been displayed for the public since 1966 when Halseth helped to open the CFAC to make this large collection of art accessible for everyone in the community. Over the years, the center has expanded to include special exhibits, performances, and classes for all visitors and residents of Sweetwater County.    

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The celebration will include a student art competition and music performed by students and local musicians.

Refreshments for the evening are being prepared by the culinary students from the Rock Springs Junior High and High School.

Several local artists have donated art to be raffled off that evening. Tickets are available from CFAC board members and at the CFAC.  The proceeds are going to support a special project that the CFAC board will announce that evening.

The CFAC is a unique collaboration of Sweetwater County School District No. One, the city of Rock Springs and Sweetwater County. The CFAC operates as a department of the Sweetwater County Library System. Additional funding support comes from such organizations as Sweetwater County Library Foundation, Wyoming Arts Council and Sweetwater BOCES.

The Community Fine Arts Center’s goal of providing a variety of art experiences to the community directs the calendar of events each year. Each month, a new exhibit is displayed featuring individual artists, traveling exhibitions, or themed shows for community artists.

The public is invited to the celebration on October 17th and to see the current exhibit as well as the works of the permanent collection. The CFAC’s hours are Mondays through Thursdays 10 am to 6 pm and Friday and Saturday from noon to 5 pm.