PAC opens Art of Wellness Exhibit at Altru Professional Center

Bruce Gjovig’s art collection featured at public art exhibit

The Public Arts Commission (PAC) announces the opening of the “Art of Wellness” long-term art exhibition on March 21st  at Altru Professional Center (Door #14) on 4400 South Washington Street, Door #14, featuring part of the extensive art collection of Bruce Gjovig of Grand Forks.  The opening starts at 6:00 pm.


“We are pleased to announce the “Art of Wellness” exhibition that is comprised of a significant art collection by regional artists,” said Mike Kuntz, Chair of the Public Arts Commission (PAC). “Expanding the public arts offering in our community is a focus of PAC, and we are excited to team up with Bruce Gjovig - one of the state’s most prominent art collectors - and with Altru Health Systems to feature the artwork of some our region’s finest emerging and established artists.”


Bruce Gjovig, CEO Emeritus of the Center for Innovation Foundation has been collecting art for 35 years. He bought works of art from regional artists as he found great art available locally, especially through the North Dakota Museum of Art, the Nelson County Arts Council, O’Rourke Art Gallery, Arts on the Red, and The Art of Giving (TAG) art auctions.  “I appreciated the art, liked the artists, and wanted to encourage artists to do their art here,” he said.


Gjovig’s art is collection is known as the largest private art collection available for public view in North Dakota, perhaps in surrounding states as well.  His art collection was displayed at the Ina Mae Rude Entrepreneur Center from 2005 to 2018 to inspire innovation and creativity among startup entrepreneurs and students. 


Gjovig says, “For 13 years these works of art inspired the entrepreneur community, and now the artwork has new work to do to inspire Altru patients and our community to advance our public engagement with art”  He added, “Storing art makes no sense to me, as art is created to be seen and appreciated. Thus I am delighted to loan my art collection to PAC for a public exhibition. Grand Forks has been very good to me, and this is a way to give back to the make my community a better place to be, and Altru a more friendly place for patients and visitors.”


Gjovig added, “I cannot imagine a world without art.  Art often defines civilization, culture and a community. Ever notice how many people take a photo in front of a signature work of art when they visit a new city?“ 


PAC Board member, Barry Wilfahrt, said, “Philanthropic funding is always needed to make these cultural treasures more accessible to the public.  When Gjovig put his name on this collection and loaned it to PAC, he let everyone know what matters to him, what he believes in, and this sets the pace and standard for future public arts projects in Grand Forks. “


The Gjovig art collection at Altru features works by over 60 artists from North Dakota and Minnesota. The diverse collection of original works include paintings, sculpture, photography, mixed-media, and works on paper. Among the notable artists featured in the PAC exhibition are Adam Kemp, Walter Piehl, Ingrid Aubol Restemayer, Dave Badman, Patrick Luber, Zhimen Guan, Kathryn Vigesaa Lipke, Gretchen Kottke, Todd Hebert, Kelly Thompson, Bennet Brien, Casey Opstad, Madelyn Camrud, Scott Urness, and RJ Kern.


The exhibition opens with a reception on March 21, 2019 from 6:00-8:00 pm. It is free and open to the public. There will be light refreshments.  When Altru Professional Center is open, self-guided tours will be available during business hours. 


Meghan Compton, Altru’s Chief Legal Counsel and art collector, worked closely with PAC to provide appropriate display space for the  Art of Wellness exhibition.  She says, “Altru Health System appreciates that art provides an environment for healing as it uplifts the spirit of those who enter the Altru Professional Center. The exhibit will improve patient experience and likely the outcomes as well.  We hope this art exhibit will provide an environment to inspire hope, express thoughts and emotions that are hard to put into words, lower stress and anxiety, relax and calm, connect with ourselves at a deeper level, find meaning in life's experiences, cope with grief and loss, form new connections with others, shift focus away from pain and stress, and create a special place that is unique for wellness.”