A journey from the USA to Argentina begins in Pagosa

Photo courtesy José Luis Vílchez and Cora Rose
Artists José Luis Vílchez and Cora Rose, new to Pagosa Springs, have just launched a fundraising campaign to convert a school bus into an art and recording studio on wheels. Following the work, they will then drive the studio from the United States to Argentina over a two-year period.

Special to The PREVIEW
Two newly arrived artists in Pagosa Springs have just launched a fundraising campaign to convert a school bus into an art and recording studio on wheels. They will then drive the studio from the USA to Argentina over two years.
The initiative is part of an ongoing project called Art We There Yet and its mission is twofold. First, to build a body of visual and musical art inspired by the Americas, illustrating the diversity and shared humanity of peoples across the Americas. Second, to bring arts education and public art to communities that lack access to arts programming.
Art We There Yet is the brainchild of artists José Luis Vílchez and Cora Rose, who arrived in Pagosa this past May. Vílchez is a fine art painter and professional photographer; Rose is a songwriter and record producer. Combined, they have traveled to over 72 countries, creating art and teaching around the world.
The pair met in China in 2016 and founded Art We There Yet in 2017. Since then, they have created works together in China, Nepal, India and Nicaragua. In June, they worked with Pagosa Peak Open School to provide art and songwriting workshops to the fourth-grade class.
The Art We There Yet bus trip across the Americas will consist of a series of creative projects. Vílchez will create a series of photographic portraits and paintings, while Rose will record a set of collaborative albums with artists across both continents. Together, they will produce a documentary film, a book and an exhibition to bring to galleries throughout the world after the trip has finished. They will also work with communities to provide free arts programming along the way: public murals, art installations, free art and music workshops, and free concerts at schools, hospitals and homes for the elderly.
“The heart of this project is to demonstrate our shared humanity, our shared challenges and that in our diversity lies our greatest strength,” explained Rose.
Vílchez and Rose are welcoming in grassroots participation in the project by launching an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to buy and convert the bus. Contributors receive music and artwork directly from the artists, as well as the opportunity to sponsor public art in communities along the bus trip route.
“We also want to put out an open call into the community — if you would like to support the project by hosting a house concert or painting party, we would love to do so,” offered Rose.
To connect with Rose and Vílchez, contribute or learn more about the project, visit ArtWeThereYet.com.

This story was posted on July 23, 2018.