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Behind the Access Doors, Part 1

By Andrea Hayes, Visitor Services Representative

The Columbus Museum is filled with an amazingly diverse staff, with people literally coming from all walks of life. Recently, I got to sit down with our Exhibition Coordinator and Designer, Cameron Faucette, for a chat about her life’s experiences and how her life’s path led her to The Columbus Museum.

Andrea Hayes: So, first we’ll start off by asking what is your specific title?

Cameron Faucette: I am the Exhibition Coordinator and Designer. I head up the Design Department here at The Columbus Museum.  So I’m in charge of designing the exhibits: doing the layouts, selecting placement, the colors; and the coordination part is that I oversee all of the installations. So I’m the one that has to accurately explain my ideas and my vision to my team and they have to create it and then I have to make sure they stay on schedule and that we’re on time.

AH: So, what is your background in?

CF: Great question. I have a degree in interior design from Auburn University. And I graduated with visions of going to Atlanta or Manhattan and being the next Mario Buatta, the next big designer. I had thought I was going to go into residential design, designing people’s homes, but I ended up doing the bulk of my career in commercial. I’ve done a lot of projects here in Columbus. I did the TSYS campus, the majority of the furniture there. I’ve done several jobs for Synovus. I did the Public Safety building when it was new. I lived in North Carolina and did numerous projects for NC State and UNC, Duke University.

AH: Do you think working at a Museum is very different from where you originally planned to end up?

CF: Yes, but I think probably most people don’t end up where you envision life’s gonna take them.

AH: I don’t think so either.

CF: And I think it was John Lennon who said “Man plans, God laughs”. Somebody said that. And I think that’s kind of true. We make plans and end up somewhere else. I’m thrilled to be at the Columbus Museum. I’m thrilled that they took a chance on me.

AH: Last question, is there anything you want people to know about the Design Department at the Columbus Museum?

CF: We feel extremely privileged to work here. We feel a huge responsibility to not only design and execute the vison that the Curator has for the show, but we also feel a huge responsibility to the artwork and the artifacts themselves. We display the artwork in the best way possible for our viewing audience. I feel like with art shows our work shouldn’t be noticed, it should be the art that’s noticed. To me wall color and things like that are more the backdrop, more a subliminal piece of the puzzle that just accentuates that art. So to me if people really come away really learning something or really appreciating something from the art and not really saying “Oh! I love that wall color!” then I feel like I’ve done my job.

With the artifacts we feel a huge responsibility to honor the previous owners and the story they tell and we are presenting them in a historically accurate way and sometimes a compassionate way that doesn’t exploit, but honors that piece and that tells that piece’s story and tells that piece’s history and that we do it in a proper way. So we feel a huge responsibility and we love what we do.

We’re always doing something differently. Our lives change from day to day. One day we’re working on this exhibit, the next day we’re moving a piece in one of the permanent galleries. We strive to make it the best looking Museum, not just for our curators and the staff here, but so that our visitors have an amazing experience.

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