By Marsha Sandman | CNA Media Team
When touring a museum, zoo, botanic garden, interpretive center or historic site, your visit is often enhanced by the physical manifestation of storytelling, exhibit design and interactive opportunities that intensify your experience.
Concordian Jan Coleman, sole member of Red Caviar Planning and Design LLC, has dedicated her career to planning and designing museums, zoos, botanic gardens, etc. with environmental, historical and cultural messages.
Her original ideas can be seen throughout North America. In Oregon, her efforts are at the “Great Northwest” exhibits at Oregon Zoo and at the National Oregon Trail Interpretive Center in Baker City.
Before semi-retirement a year ago, Jan was involved from the inception of many projects. She provided exhibit research, led planning workshops and developed goals, concepts and construction documents.
She is currently offering her services pro bono for the proposed McKenzie River Discovery Park.
Jan started her journey in Eugene, where she was raised, attended the University of Oregon and taught interior architecture for six years.
Her expertise was noticed by various design firms throughout the country, she moved east to farther east, and then back again. She worked on large projects that often took two to three years.
For more than 35 years, she drew on her formal background of interior architecture, knowledge of the arts, anthropology, sociology, landscape.
“Extraordinarily creative, Jan’s vast experience and keen sense of how people learn are a terrific addition to any planning team,” reported Scot Medbury, Brooklyn Botanic Garden director.
Since Jan is also an artist, she continues to pursue her interest in loom and non-loom woven structures. She seeks what she called, “engaging ways to connect environmental education and the role of fungi in the health of ecosystems.”
Her home – filled with colorful yarns, a painter’s easel, slender lengths of exotic wood and a large loom – is testament to her abundant creative energy.
Jan’s impressive work combines geometric patterns of woven elements with coil-wrapped yarn and wood.
“There is a long line of weavers stretching behind me to the horizon and beyond until, like a tail, the line traces a route to every locale on the globe,” she said.
“This line of weavers exists across time, emerging from the most distant past and, moving through me, continues on.”
To learn more about Jan and some of her many projects visit RedCaviarStudio.com.
After living east, south, north and west, Marsha Sandman is home at last. And she wants to hear your story. Contact her at MarshaJSandman@ gmail.com.