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Downtown Dreams in Summerville, GA

 Coca-Cola is an iconic company with a global reach but with a foundation rooted in Georgia. Coke bottles painted in folk art style are a Chattooga County specialty thanks to Howard Finster. The Coke Bottle Project is a means to highlight local artists, bring art and culture to the downtown area, and serve as a reminder of Folk Art Legend, Howard Finster’s world famous Coke Bottle Art. Summerville Main Street met with Coca-Cola Bottling Company earlier this year to propose this project. Susan Locklear, Director of Summerville Main Street said, “the idea was presented to Coca-Cola as not only a way to highlight local artist to our community and tourists, but to also highlight Howard’s love for Coca Cola. According to people who knew Howard, he didn’t drink coffee or alcohol, but he frequently enjoyed a Coke while he was painting, and he often featured the iconic bottle shape in his artwork. Coca Cola was in agreement that the project would be a nice fit and worked with Summerville Main Street in acquiring the bottles.”
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“The Orange Incident” Paradise Garden Artists: D. Davis and A. Abdou Howard Finster’s Paradise Garden in the strange year of 2016

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Local artists agreed to paint these bottles with a theme or art of their choice for the downtown display. Each bottle also displays a plaque containing the artist’s name, title for the art, and quote. The nine pieces of coke bottle art will be placed throughout downtown and will remain on display for an indefinite period of time for public enjoyment.

Artist John Aycock participated in the Coke Bottle project sponsored by the Summerville Main Street. Aycock titled his Bottle, “The Way”–Force a man to do your will, and so the man may do, But inspiring a man to change, will change his children too. Aycock’s portrayal of Martin Luther King, Jr. and John Lennon is representative of a view shared by many that regardless of our differences, we can still be brought together by our shared goals and dreams.

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“It took some time to finally figure out the subject matter I wanted to go with. It wasn’t until the latest display of tension between the white and black community in Dallas Texas when officers were shot and killed in response to the police shooting in Louisiana that I finally realized what I should paint. The two individuals, John Lennon and MLK, came to mind almost immediately. The idea was to combine the concepts between John Lennon’s song ‘Imagine’ and Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech which both admonish the American people to strive for love and respect in spite of differences. I wanted the piece to have a “higher purpose” than just to look nice. The fact that the two individuals are as different as they can be in almost every respect from religion to race to nationality was intentional. Though they had so much to divide them, their hopes were united in purpose; equality for all,” said Aycock.  While racial tensions continue to grow, leaders in Chattooga hope to find unity through these common goals and dreams.

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Coke Bottle Art Plaques (9 In Total)
“Message In A Bottle”

Artist: Lorraine Roberts (‘Raine)
I am humbled to be part of this project and I hope the words scribbled on this representation of a Coca-Cola bottle will inspire your heart and sooth your being.  -‘Raine May 2016

“The Way”

Artist: John Aycock
Force a man to do your will, and so the man may do,                                                             But inspiring a man to change, will change his children too.

“The Legend of The Goat Man”

Artist: Billy Smith
Rekindling the old local legends – Billy Smith 2016

“The Orange Incident”

Paradise Garden Artists:  D. Davis and A. Abdou
Howard Finster’s Paradise Garden in the strange year of 2016

“Boys & Girls Club”

Boys & Girls Club Artist: Kelley Kidd
2 Schools, 1 Club = Chattooga Boys & Girls Club. Unique and different is the next generation of beautiful

“This Is The Wild”

Artist:  Rocky Labrian Ludy Jr.
The hunt is on – Rocky Ludy Jr. 2016

“Phoenix”

Artist: Lee Sentell
In honor of a re-habilitated loggerhead turtle that was found off the coast of Georgia and adopted by the Trion Elementary Fine Arts Department through the Jekyll Island Turtle Rehabilitation Center

Artist: John Char’els

“Cosmic Folk Art”

It’s all in your mind
“Psalm 144:1”

Artist: Kelley Kidd
In honor of those who serve and protect; they face what you fear – Kelly Kidd 2016

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