Coca-Cola enlisted the talents of four unique artists on opposite sides of the country – Greg Mike and Trish Andersen from Georgia, and Michael Kalish and Geoff Gouveia from California – to support the launch of a pair of regionally inspired – yet nationally available – specialty flavors.

The artists created original statement pieces inspired by Coca-Cola Georgia Peach and Coca-Cola California Raspberry. Get to know them and their work here:

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Greg Mike’s visually arresting murals have recently become colorful fixtures in the Atlanta cityscape. His signature style is a mashup of influences from his life: the gritty bombast of New York City graffiti, old-school cartoons and skateboard graphics from his Connecticut upbringing, to the Pop Surrealism of Warhol and Dali he studied in college. “My stuff is a blend of all that,” said Mike, who has called Atlanta home for the last 15 years “It’s balanced from a graphic design sense, but bright and bold from a graffiti sense.”

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Mike applied these influences to a mural inspired by Coca-Cola Georgia Peach. Before beginning work on the piece on Ponce de Leon Avenue in midtown Atlanta, he spent a few weeks enjoying the new drink at his studio, marinating on both the taste and the brand’s artisanal look.

Coca-Cola Origins Artists

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“I started thinking about peach as an icon of Georgia and as a color pallet," he explained. "And Coca-Cola is such a big part of the city, so I wanted to try and incorporate it, too. I’d always wanted to do a piece with a giant ‘ATL’, because everyone has so much love for the ATL. And I’d always wanted to do a peach icon. I call this the loud peach because it’s super bright and bold.”

Coca-Cola Origins Artists

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Mike concluded, “If I’m able to brighten someone’s day on their way to work and inspire a reaction – to think or to try something new – then I’m doing my job. Street art is all about getting people out of their comfort zone.” 

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Michael Kalish is a contemporary pop artist known for large-scale public installations using Americana mediums like license plates and reclaimed cars. “I consider myself not only an artist but an inventor,” he said. “I love pushing the envelope and creating something functional, experiential and unique.”

Kalish describes his recent work as “point-of-perspective experiential pieces” that represent new meaning at different angles and may take time to fully appreciate. “It’s like unwrapping a present,” he says of his style. “There’s an ‘a-ha’ moment with my work.”

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The Atlanta native now living in L.A. created a handcrafted 3-D piece marrying his love of Coca-Cola and his roots in Georgia and California. The piece, which will be featured this fall at Chase Contemporary Gallery in New York, was assembled by a team of industrial engineers, screen printers and fabricators. “My job is to present what’s popular in today’s culture as art,” Kalish said. “And Coca-Cola is at the top of that list. I’ve always loved the Coke bottle, and I love the idea of locally sourced raspberry from California. All of this great stuff was swirling around in my head, and I eventually saw an opportunity to use individual panels to articulate this new beverage.”

Coca-Cola Origins Artists

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Iconic California imagery like the Hollywood sign, palm trees and beach scenes are fused with shots that represent the drink’s intrinsics, like effervescent bubbles and fruit farms. Kalish said he set out to create an immersive, multisensory experience.

“When you look at the piece dead on, you may not notice all the images and materials I sourced for the sculpture, but as you step back, walk around and inspect each panel, it becomes almost a walking tour,” he continued. “It’s similar to the experience of tasting Coca-Cola California Raspberry, and gradually discovering different notes and flavors.”

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Trish Andersen was born and raised in the “carpet capital of the world” – Dalton, Ga. The fibers artist applies a technique called hand tufting, which originated in her hometown to create rugs and other commercial floor coverings, to create fine art. “I literally draw with yarn,” explained Andersen, who now divides her time between New York City and Savannah, Ga.

Andersen was always inspired by Dalton’s entrepreneurial spirit, but only recently realized its impact on her art. “I’m super inspired by machinery and tools, and materials and process,” she said. “I’m fascinated by how and why things are made.”

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Her work requires plenty of material and time. “It’s super tactile and process oriented,” she explained. “For me, it’s very meditative to follow these repetitive processes that, in turn, turn me into a machine by figuring out a rhythm and perfecting it by doing it over and over again.”

Anderson jumped at the chance to create a piece inspired by Coca-Cola Georgia Peach. “I’ve always loved peach because it makes me think of home,” she said. “I tried to pull out all colors representative of the flavor – and that would pop.”

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The background pattern is an abstraction of peacock feathers, a subtle shout-out to Dalton’s history. From the 1920s to the 1960s, a stretch of Highway 41 in North Georgia was nicknamed Peacock Alley after the popular peacock-patterned chenille bedspreads sold there.

Andersen said she hopes the 9 ft.-by-12 ft. piece – now on display at her alma mater, the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Atlanta – feels warm and inspiring to others.

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“Because I’m telling the story of my hometown,” she concluded, “I wanted to give people an opportunity to think about what they love about where they’re from.”

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Geoff Gouveia grew up in a Riverside, Calif., about an hour east of Los Angeles. A self-described “California kid” through and through, he loved going to the beach, surfing, skateboarding and playing soccer.

As an art student, Gouveia was never comfortable in galleries. “I felt alienated and never knew what do with my hands,” he recalled with a laugh.

The streets quickly became his museum. Walls – the bigger the better – became his canvas. And thanks to Southern California’s warm, dry weather, he can paint outside year-round. “My goal is to connect with as many people as possible,” Gouveia said. “And the best way to do that is with murals.”

Gouveia describes his style as an intersection of his primary influences: the line weight of Shel Silverstein’s animated characters and Van Gogh’s use of color. “It’s whimsical and storybook-like,” he explained, “in that kids should see it and smile and adults should see it and feel nostalgic.”

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When Gouveia was asked to create a downtown L.A. mural inspired by Coca-Cola California Raspberry and his West Coast roots, he chose to illustrate California as he sees it: equal parts play and work. “California is an idea,” he said. “Anything’s possible, and if you want to go after it, it’s here.”

The vintage, homespun vibe of the brand’s packaging reminded him of his home state’s status as a citrus hotspot. “Right off the bat, it felt like old California to me,” he recalled. “So I wanted to show people working, but enjoying their work and having fun. That’s California.”

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