"I started working at Rourke Gallery in 1961 when it was located in downtown Moorhead (that was 56 years ago, folks.) I continued working at the gallery for four years while attending Concordia.
During that time James O’Rourke was a great mentor and wonderful friend. I consider it an honor to have known him. While working at the gallery and going to Concordia, I had the privilege of knowing so many in the FM art community. Names that I know are still remembered. Cyrus Running, Betty Strand, Dean Bowman, Jack Youngquist, Jim’s brother - Orland Rourke, and many others.
While Jim was single-minded and even relentless in promoting the arts in Fargo Moorhead, there were others who shared his vision and provided valuable support. Among them I would like to recognize Al and Merre Bloomquist who provided timely support when the city wanted to shut the gallery down. And Tom Gunkelman for being one of the first board members and an avid collector of local art.
I am thrilled to see that what Jim started so many years ago now has deep roots, strong support, and a bright future."
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website