I am getting settled into Grand Forks after working elsewhere in the hospitality industry for three decades. I offer an observation to the community.

As I explore Grand Forks, one of the crown jewels of Grand Forks is the two new attractions put up by the Public Arts Commission (PAC) at the Alerus Center and at Altru Professional Center on South Washington. I attended the opening at the Alerus Center on May 23 and was charmed and pleased by the art collection.

The two exhibits feature the largest private collection of art for public view in the state, the art collection owned by Bruce Gjovig of Grand Forks, a retired entrepreneur executive and now community leader.

We are frequently asked by our hotel guests, “What is there to see in Grand Forks?” The exhibitions are easy referrals for us as the art collection is diverse and includes many regional artists, subjects and mediums – there is something for everyone’s taste in art.

With the two exhibitions, there are two new art galleries featuring for sale the art of about a dozen regional artists courtesy of PAC. What a wonderful addition to our community.

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I find art exhibits important because studies have suggested that older adults who both created art and attended arts events reported higher cognitive functioning and lower rates of both hypertension and limitations to their physical functioning than did adults who neither created nor attended art.”

It’s nice to know continued involvement in the arts doesn’t just benefit youngsters. Even when you’re grown, art literally makes your smarter, stronger, and faster.

Joe Cozart is general manager of the Ramada Inn and Events Center, Grand Forks.