This week for our focus on the World of Coke, we wanted to highlight one of the 24 folk art bottles that are on display. 

South Africa hi-res D00407 Originally created for the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games, held in Atlanta, Georgia, The Coca-Cola Salute to Folk Art was collection of folk art bottles from 54 countries. To create their own one-of-a-kind bottle, some countries commissioned well-known artists, while in most cases, competitions were held to select the artistic concept best representing that country. Many of these contests selected the entries of school students and local artisans.

The program celebrated the folk art and craft traditions of some of the countries where Coca-Cola is sold around the world. Each work of art started with the same basic “canvas” – an oversized three-dimensional Coke bottle – onto which artisans applied their local art traditions and indigenous materials to make the bottle their own.  Since the 1996 Games, the Folk Art Bottle program has been utilized by other countries as well.

SOUTH AFRICA

ARTISTS: Maria Msiza, her mother Anna, her sisters Johanna and Sarah, and friends Anna Ntuli and Francinah Mtshwene

A team of six artists from KwaNdebele, Mpumalanga, created this bottle, which is covered by a “glove” of beads tied with nylon thread.  The artists incorporated the boldly contrasting shapes and colors of traditional Ndebele house painting in their beadwork, and labored five weeks to complete the sculpture.

Of the six artists, five are former domestic workers who formed an artists' cooperative specializing in Ndebele art and craft.  Most of their work is sold in flea markets in Johannesburg.

Beads, nylon thread, on hollow plastic bottle form
Bottle height: 87 inches