Roadrunner iced teas feature four distinct flavors. Photograph courtesy of Admiral Beverage Corporation.

BARBARA CHICHESTER’S DEEP AFFECTION FOR our official state bird led her to develop an entire collection of works devoted to it. Placing roadrunners against colorful backgrounds, Chichester captures their sharp features in striking detail, even depicting their perky little mohawks. 

“Roadrunners are extremely comical,” says Chichester, who works in watercolor, ink, and what she calls “paintographs”—photos digitally layered with color and dimension. “They’re gregarious and outgoing. They will come right up to you. They have this iridescent glow in the sunlight.” 

Her work seemed a great fit to the Admiral Beverage Corporation as it was preparing to debut its Roadrunner iced teas. “The vibrant colors and fullness of her image made us reach out,” says Robyn Bryant, vice president of marketing at Admiral Beverage, which launched the line in May. 

The company, which has four facilities in New Mexico, worked on the flavored teas for about three years, and approached Chichester in October 2020. It adapted one of her roadrunner designs to fit the can, and each flavor received a coordinating color scheme—green for green tea with ginseng, magenta for watermelon, pale orange for peach mango, and terra-cotta for sweet tea. The teas are available in grocery stores throughout New Mexico. 

While Chichester had not ventured into corporate work before, her bold image is already winning fans. “I was in a store and heard people talking about liking the can,” says Chichester. “I thought that was so cool.”

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