CFAC to Celebrate 80th Anniversary of Their First Painting Purchased

Rock Springs 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.  Photo courtesy of the Community Fine Arts Center.

Rock Springs, WY (10/6/19) – Sweetwater County School District #1 and the Community Fine Arts Center will celebrate the 80th anniversary of the first painting purchased.

The celebration is 5-7 p.m. on Oct. 17 at the CFAC.


The 80th-anniversary celebration will include a student art competition along with music performed by students and local musicians. Refreshments will be prepared by the culinary students from the Rock Springs Junior High and High School.

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

According to a press release from the CFAC, the first painting purchase was made possible by Rock Springs science teacher Elmer Halseth and students from Rock Springs High School. Students were encouraged by Halseth to raise money through bake sales, school carnivals, and even collecting scrap metal to continue to add to the collection.

The collection was originally displayed 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.


The Community Fine Arts Center is located at 400 C Street in Rock Springs.