Featured Artwork

As she sits at her jack loom, watching the colorful geometric patterns of ‘rep weave’ emerge from beneath her fingers, or as she leans back in a rocking chair while wrapping yarns around gimp to produce coil basketry elements, Jan Coleman never feels alone. She feels, instead, “as if 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. This line of weavers exists across Time, emerging from the most distant Past and, moving through me, continues on.”


Jan works in ancient techniques of rep weave, twining, knotting and coiling. Her work has a narrative, artifact-like quality referencing a sense of place, culture, materiality, utility and lineage. It is enhanced by exhibit work that Jan has done for cultures such as Catlow and Fort Rock, Shoshone and Paiute in the Great Basin, Wintu, Nez Perce, Washo, Columbia Plateau and others; by years spent visiting Las Vegas Valley to conceive the 160-acre Las Vegas Springs Preserve (Origens); and by fifteen years working with the 1600-piece Wallace M. and Ruth Ruff Collection of Papua New Guinea Art and Architecture.

Jan began weaving in Max Nixon’s lab at the University of Oregon. She went on to take basketry from Yurok elder Geneva Matz, and tapestry at Mill College. Jan was considered an emerging Oregon artist in the 1970s and 1980s with a solo show followed by a joint show with Celeste LeBlanc at the Murray Warner Museum of Art (now the Jordan Schnitzer), and several appearances in shows at the Portland Art Museum. Her work has been featured in Artweek, Handweaver and Craftsman, and Omni magazines, and in the Portland Oregonian. Jan has been co-recipient of several regional and national grants and has been interviewed on Oregon radio and television.