Sandy Douglas, President of Coca-Cola North America and Global Chief Customer Officer for The Coca-Cola Company, made remarks at the ceremony, along with Crystal Bridges Executive Director Rod Bigelow, prior to a Coke toast.
“In different and distinct ways, both Coca-Cola and Crystal Bridges bring simple moments of happiness to people,” said Douglas. “This new Coca-Cola Hydration Station is a great way to enhance the Crystal Bridges experience for visitors. Whether they’re taking an active walk on the extensive trails or enjoying the many exhibits at this world-class museum, Coca-Cola is ready to offer refreshment.”
“We are grateful to Coca-Cola for providing this beautiful pavilion for the comfort of Crystal Bridges’ guests,” said Bigelow. “The Hydration Station will definitely improve the quality of the Crystal Bridges experience for our guests, and provide a place where we can offer information about the museum for those who are waiting for the shuttle or using our trails. It is a much-welcome addition to the amenities of Crystal Bridges.”
The pavilion, which was constructed by Nabholz, was designed with sustainability in mind and features concrete, native stone, metal, and Cor-ten steel. Vending areas for Coca-Cola beverages are paired with recycling stations, while bench seating is made from recycled PET bottles. Station signage includes a Crystal Bridges trail map, as well as tips for incorporating healthy, active living into a museum visit, such as strolling the Art Trail, wandering the galleries in search of Norman Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter painting, or hiking the Rock Ledge Trail. There is also information about the important role of recycling. A digital display screen offers viewers museum information, including current exhibition news.
Following the dedication, Della Patteson, former Corporate Art Curator for Coca-Cola, conducted a free public Art Talk in Crystal Bridges’ 20th-century art gallery about the museum’s recently acquired painting by Andy Warhol, Coca-Cola . Though the work was not commissioned by Coca-Cola, the company views the image as a testament to the universal appeal of Coke and the familiarity of its iconic contour bottle.
Coca-Cola’s sponsorship of key Crystal Bridges’ initiatives began in 2011, when the corporation was a sponsor for the museum’s opening on Nov. 11. “Coca-Cola has been very supportive of our mission to welcome all to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of nature,” said Bigelow. “Recently, when the Coca-Cola (3) painting debuted in our gallery, the company provided complimentary Coca-Cola in glass bottles to museum guests. We look forward to continuing to collaborate on inventive ways to enhance our guests’ museum experience.”