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September 1, 2007- September 30, 2007


Bill Slack, one of our premier print artists in the Twin Cities, presents a series of collaborations with a diverse group of visual artists and noN-artists. The Fusion Tribe Project will produce a set of monotype images exploring the theme of the mask.

Fusion is the process or result of joining two or more elements together to form a single unified entity. The ophthalmologist combines images from the two eyes to form a single visual precept. In science it is a nuclear reaction in which nuclei combine to form more massive nuclei with the simultaneous release of energy. In music, fusion is a mixture of different styles, jazz and rock. Fusion cuisine incorporates elements of diverse cultures and regions of the world - a sushi-like roll of gingery rice and eel wrapped in marinated Greek grape leaves.

However, for the purposes of creating Fusion Tribe monotype images there is no predetermined idea or set definition as to how or what a mask is. Both William Slack (as facilitating artist) and the Tribe members (as co-explorers) meet, discuss ideas and operational objectives, consider options, and finally, create the work together, relying as much on the unexpected results of fusion as on the groundwork the two have established.

As Slack says, "For me, the richness in this experience is in the person-to-person synthesis of ideas with a group of people I admire or would like to get to know. We all bring our particular skill sets, experiences and unexpected collaborative insights to the proverbial printmaking table as we create fusion. The Fusion Tribe Project is a life quest and will continue to add tribe members at every opportunity. My goal is to interact with and to invite people from every strata to join my family of artists."

At the moment, and for the purposes of this first Fusion Tribe Project show, family members include Ta-coumba Aiken, Beverly Cottman, Del Bey, Elizabeth Flnsch, Bill Jeter, Seitu Jones, Linda Maylish, George Roberts, and John Sweere.

Opening Reception: Saturday, September 8th from 6p to 9p Gallery Talk: Tuesday, September 18th beginning at 7p Closing Party: Saturday, September 29th beginning at 6p

Collaboration hovers at the center of everything Bill Slack does, whether it is an as an artist, as a teacher, or simply as a friend. Fusion Tribe has been one powerful expression of that idea.

Speaking as a galllery owner, I can honestly say we have not enjoyed a show as varied, as technically accompoished, as startling and as exciting as this one.

As a participating artist, I want to acknowledge Bill's insight and generosity as a mentor, and especially his willingness to "turn us loose" and to insist we "get busy and play." He taught me the importance of dismissing the editors sitting on my shoulder and to enter into the art-making with wild abandon.

Everyone who viewed the show commented, in one way or another, about its common vision, about the individuality of each collaboration, and about how powerful the cumulative effect if all these fusion pieces was.