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Art We There Yet? Travelling artist set sights on Marathon arena

Art We There Yet is an initiative by artists José Luis Vílchez and Cora Rose to create art that highlights the challenges, diversity, and shared humanity of peoples across the Americas.
Art We There Yet travels around North and South America bringing the world of Art. (Photo by Art We There Yet)

MARATHON – Traveling abroad a converted school bus, artists Vílchez and Rose, have travelled more than 30,000 miles across North America to brighten up communities like Marathon with art.  

It was only by coincidence that Vílchez and Rose found out about the Town of Marathon.

“We happened to meet the CEO of Barrick Gold in Idaho. He liked our project and he said, “well you know whenever you come to Canada or Alaska or South America, we have operations all over the place, we would like to sponsor some murals, just contact us whenever are in one of our communities,” said Vílchez in an interview with CFNO.

While in working the United States, he met with officials from Barrick Gold Corporation, which has operations in several places across the country, and through a chance meeting with Barrick Gold, the officials offered to sponsor some of their work in Canada.

“So, we check the map. We were driving from the US to Alaska, right now, and we entered through Montreal and we look at the map and we look where Barrick has mining operations, and there’s Marathon, and our path goes right through there to get to Alaska,” Vílchez laughed as he explained.

Vilchez and Rose are in Marathon ready to paint a community mural on the front and side of the arena.

Why? Because art is powerful.

This is the message that can be read on the website at

Vilchez and Cora Rose use art to inspire small communities to take part in the experience of creation.

Not only do they craft amazing murals, but they also provide art workshops to the resident while they are in town.

“We are using the arts to illustrate the strength in our diversity and to emphasize our shared humanity,” Art We There Yet’s website reads. “Our work directly draws from exposure to new sights, new people, and experiencing the different realities lived by humans across the world. We also believe everyone deserves access to the arts, so we are providing free arts programming in communities that need it the most.”

The mural they are creating for the Marathon arena is inspired by the seven teachings and the natural beauty of the Marathon area.

“The mural is inspired by the seven teachings, so we included some of the animals that are represented in the seven teachings and are also inspired by the beauty of Marathon. I took a drone shot of the bay here. It looks really beautiful, so that is going to serve as a background. The mural is very stylized and it is very simple with geometrical shapes so everyone can come and paint. It’s not overwhelming for people to come and fill in the colours. It’s basically like a paint-by-number situation,” Vilchez stated jokingly.

The public is encouraged to come and assist with the mural which should begin on Saturday and continue for two weeks if weather permits.

Clint Fleury

About the Author: Clint Fleury

Clint Fleury is a web reporter covering Northwestern Ontario and the Superior North regions.
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