2024 Mayor’s Arts Award winners announced

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Left to right: Dave Pedri, Eric-Richard deLora, and Paul Ng

March 19, 2024 — Wyo4News Staff

Today, the Rock Springs Mayor Max Mickelson, the Rock Springs Main Street/Urban Renewal Agency, and the Community Fine Arts Center announce the Mayor’s Arts Award recipients for 2024. This year’s winners are photographer Paul Ng, musician Dave Pedri, educator Eric-Richard deLora, and the Community Fine Arts Center.

This is the fourth year for the Mayor’s Arts Award to be presented, recognizing “artistic achievement as well as extraordinary support for and contributions to the arts.” The Mayor’s Arts Award is open to any Sweetwater County citizen, organization, or business whose accomplishments reflect substantial contributions made in Rock Springs that exemplify a long-term commitment to the arts.

“The arts are an important part of our community, and I’m excited to help honor these wonderful contributions to Rock Springs,” stated Rock Springs Mayor Max Mickelson.

 

The awards will be presented at an open-to-the-public event on March 28th at 6:30 p.m. in the Western Wyoming Community College Atrium. The award presentations are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

The Award Winners (text furnished by CFAC):

Paul Ng (submitted photo

Photographer Paul Ng is well-known in the Rock Springs community for his landscape and nature images. He enrolled in a black-and-white photography course at Western Wyoming Community College in 1987 and hasn’t stopped expanding his knowledge and techniques since then. Preferring darkroom work to digital editing of his images, Paul has also taught many classes, sharing his love of the photographic image. His work has been included in local and regional exhibitions and has been published in several magazines both in the United States and in Hong Kong.

Dave Pedri (submitted photo)
  • Musician Dave Pedri is a Rock Springs native and master accordion player. He has been sharing his music in the community for decades. Dave taught some of the younger family members to play, and he formed the EIO Band based on their theme song, the EIIO Polka. They have been the entertainment at many local events, such as International Days, Concerts at the Park, and the Brown Bag Concerts. Dave and the band are best known for their generosity, playing at many fundraisers such as the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, Walk to End Alzheimer’s, KD Foundation’s Juvenile Diabetes run, Holy Spirit Catholic School and church fundraisers, and many more worthy causes.
Eric-Richard de Lora (submitted photo)
  • Educator Eric-Richard de Lora has been an arts instructor at Western Wyoming Community College since 2013, expanding the musical theater program and the Summer Theater for Youth with Sweetwater BOCES. He brought an extensive career of teaching, directing, designing, and performing in many organizations and schools. Eric understands the need for trained professionals, both as permanent staff and guest artists, to teach tomorrow’s talent. He is also an advocate for theater in the community, from high schools to the local theater groups, he is willing to lend costumes or props and help advertise upcoming performances.
Community Fine Arts Center – Wyo4News Photo
  • Community Fine Arts Center. Nominated by former board member Paula Wonnacott, the CFAC has been a cornerstone in the arts in Rock Springs and Sweetwater County for decades. The permanent collection of art, the nucleus for the establishment of the CFAC, is celebrating its 85th anniversary later this year. The first piece of art was purchased to hang in the Rock Spring High School. The Center opened in 1966 with the vision of Elmer Halseth, an RSHS teacher who shared his passion for the fine arts with his students. Once opened, the collaboration of the City of Rock Springs, Sweetwater County, and Sweetwater County School District #1 has made the CFAC a highlight for residents and visitors alike.

The Rock Springs Mayor’s Arts Award is open to any Sweetwater County citizen, organization, or business whose accomplishments reflect substantial contributions made in Rock Springs that exemplify a long-term commitment to the arts.