Caitlin Bowron spends her days with an art collection that is worth millions of dollars. That doesn’t make holding a Picasso in her hands any less special.
Bowron, Coke's in-house art curator, still remembers the first time she visited
“My jaw dropped, and I was speechless,” Bowron says. “Not only was one of my favorite artist’s work sitting right before my eyes, but I am now the proud curator of its enterprise.”
Bowron says working with such iconic art gives her that “’A-ha!’ moment of ‘Wow, this is what I do every day.’” As a young girl, she had different aspirations. She wanted to be a ballerina—a dream that became a little more vivid one day when her aunt took her to an art museum featuring the work of Edgar Degas, whose art is largely focused on the subject of dance. Later, Bowron’s grandmother gave her what she still says is one of the most precious gifts she ever received: a picture book with a story based on Degas’ famous sculpture, “The Little Dancer of Fourteen Years.”
Years later, in 2013, Bowron walked into the Musee D’orsay in Paris and entered a gallery dedicated to Degas. She recalls gawking at the beauty she’d spent so many years falling in love with, turning a corner and seeing “The Little Dancer of Fourteen Years” right in front of her.
“Tears filled my eyes,” Bowron says. “The radiance and humility of this tiny girl, emotions of memories pouring over this piece in a book with my aunt… the human experience of beholding something so exquisite that carries so much meaning to a person is an incredibly unique and irreplaceable one.”
Two years ago, Bowron brought her passion for artistic beauty to
But the art is there for them. That was the idea when the
The company's fine art collection, though, is an extension of its values that stretches beyond the brand.
When the department was created in 1986, it had around 860 pieces of art. Over the last three decades, it has expanded to more than 2,000 unique works. With a spread of beautiful artwork around the Atlanta campus and offices across the country and world, the collection
It's Bowron’s job to help create that experience.
“Having an opportunity to see rare pieces and to be up close and personal," Bowron says. "That is a rare opportunity that a lot of offices unfortunately don’t have the resources to do."
When Bowron curates an art exhibit, she creates a design for the display of an exhibition, and her goal is to make the arrangement as meaningful as possible for viewers. She lays out every single piece in a series to decide where each one should be placed. It’s a job that requires precision with every placement, but Bowron is also always thinking about flow, envisioning an experience that she wants employees to have when they see the display two weeks later.
One of her favorite collections at
For Bowron, the fruits of her labor come in the form of conversations she hears in the hallways.
“Seeing this pause and watching people slow down and take a moment of their day to enjoy something was incredible,” Bowron says. "To have artwork that is reflective of your everyday experience that is more timeless than a temporary logo... that is the side of it that’s really compelling.”