The Coke Bottle Art Project in historic downtown Summerville is an initiative started by Summerville Main Street in 2016 to foster the art initiative in downtown and highlight world-renowned Summerville folk artist, Howard Finster, who painted this pop culture icon throughout his art career.

The original downtown exhibit of bottles highlighted the work of local artists and was a big hit, featured in the February 2018 edition of Georgia Trend Magazine. Artists’ information plaques were placed on each bottle to recognize the artist. The bottles were a subject of much conversation and visitor photo opportunities.

In early 2018 the bottle display was removed from the downtown, due to wear and distress from the elements. Two bottles from the original Coke Bottle Art Project remain on display at The Chattooga County Boys & Girls Club and Chattooga County Sheriff’s Department. New bottles were purchased by Summerville Main Street for a fresh series of bottle art.

The Paradise Garden Foundation was gracious to jump on board with the project and partner with Summerville Main Street to present the 2019 Downtown Coke Bottle Art Project. Finster Fest 2018 artists from all across the state of Georgia lovingly painted the bottles for this much viewed and praised series. Once completed, Paradise Garden Foundation Board of Directors personally collected the bottle arts from eight Georgia cities to return to Chattooga county. The bottle exhibit was revealed in September of 2018 at the Paradise Garden membership fundraiser “Party in Paradise” and then exhibited in the Paradise Garden Museum and Visitor Center September through February 2019.

In March, the bottle art was highlighted in the Howard Finster Paradise Garden art exhibit at the Harbin Clinic Art Gallery at Makers Village in Rome, with an opening night of 500 patrons. The exhibit was curated by Cameron Cook, Director of Operations at Paradise Garden Foundation. Following the exhibit, the Coke Bottle Art returned to Summerville and were given a professional protective clear coat for protection against the elements.

Summerville Main Street worked with Michael Coley for the clear coat and sealing process of the bottles and Chattooga Printing for the artist information plaques. The eight 4-foot-tall bottles are now displayed on the streets of downtown Summerville for the public’s enjoyment. The joint partnership on this project with Summerville Main Street and the Paradise Garden Foundation has been a success in highlighting Paradise Garden, downtown Summerville, and Chattooga County. Artists highlighted in the current Coke Bottle Art series include:

Becky Altman, Artist

Chickamauga, Georgia

Kristen Ramsey

Artist, Sign Painter, Muralist

Smyrna, Georgia

Fawne DeRosia

Painter, Muralist, Sidewalk Chalk Muralist

Thomaston, Georgia An accomplished muralist artist, Fawne just recently completed projects in Thomaston, Knoxville and Atlanta.

Visit her Etsy Shop at FawneDArt or Facebook Page – Fawne DeRosia

Eric Legge

Artist, Mixed-Media

Dillard, Georgia

Eric is represented by Marcia Weber Art Objects on-line art gallery and Main Street Gallery in Clayton, Georgia

Chris Allison

Painter, Mixed Media

Mt. Airy, Georgia

Facebook page: Chicken Fried Folk Art

Kip Ramey

Artist – Mixed Media

Comer, Georgia

His art has exhibited in several art centers and museum across the Southeast.

Peter Loose

Painter – Mixed Media

Hull, Georgia

Peter’s work is in the permanent collection of Savannah’s Telfair Art Museum and was exhibited in Baltimore at the American Visionary Art Museum.

Charlie Dingler

Artist – Painter, Blacksmith

Clayton, Georgia

He is widely collected and has a YouTube channel – Charlie Dingler.

These and 60 other artists will be participating in the upcoming Finster Fest two-day art festival Memorial weekend, May 25 and 26, 11am-5pm.