“Extraordinarily creative, Jan’s vast experience and keen sense of how people learn are a terrific addition to any planning team.”
Scot Medbury, Director, Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Red Caviar

Jan Coleman is the sole owner/member of Red Caviar Planning and Design LLC and Red Caviar Studio in Portland, Oregon. Jan offers planning and design services nationally to museums, zoos, botanic gardens, design firms and clients with environmental, historical or cultural messages.

Jan is frequently involved at a project’s inception, helping shape a project’s architecture and site design to better serve visitors and to give life to the project’s interpretive vision. She provides exhibit research, leads planning workshops, develops goals and themes and creates concepts. As a project proceeds, Jan develops fully formed designs followed by cost estimates, construction drawings and bid documents. Her work stands alone or can be assimilated into other documents. She works with teams or individually on a range of large or small projects.

Interpretive Planning and Exhibit Design

Jan Coleman was asked to design traveling exhibits for the Oregon Museum of Natural History while teaching interior architecture at the University of Oregon School of Architecture and Allied Arts.

After six years of teaching Design Studio and producing five exhibits on Oregon Native cultures, she branched out in this new direction, first becoming a senior exhibit designer with Gerard Hilferty and Associates in Ohio and then a senior associate interpretive planner and exhibit designer with The Portico Group in Seattle. Jan is now in her 35th exuberant year in the field, continuing to draw on a formal background of interior architecture, knowledge of the arts, anthropology and sociology, landscape architecture and architecture.


As a member of The Portico Group’s teams, Jan has contributed to these award-winning projects: the Minnesota Zoological Garden’s “Russia’s Grizzly Coast” AZA 2009 Best Exhibit Award; the San Luis Obispo Botanic Garden ASLA Award; the Oregon Zoo Great Northwest Exhibits AZA Award; and The Canopy Project ASLA Award.

Jan’s artwork has been seen in Art Week, Omni, Sunset and Handweaver and Craftsman magazines, and in the Portland Oregonian. She has recently been honored with an extended residency fellowship at Playa on Summer Lake in the Great Basin. As co-author of an ambitious art museum live performance, she and artist Celeste LeBlanc received a Special Museum Project grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, grants from the Oregon Arts and Humanities Commissions, and the Oregon Community Foundation.


An artist, Jan continues to pursue her interest in textiles, loom and non-loom weaving. An avid mycologist, she has been a member of mycological societies in Oregon, Washington and Colorado. Jan seeks engaging ways to connect environmental education and the role of fungi in the health of ecosystems.

TOP IMAGES: Museum planning, exhibit design, interpretive development and artwork at Red Caviar Studio. Photo courtesy Richard Wilhelm; BOTTOM: Jan’s Residency Fellowship at Playa on Summer Lake. Photo courtesy Deborah Ford.