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  • Writer's picturePhillip Ratliff

Repurposing an exhibit for a new space

Updated: Apr 17

With its shiplap walls and hardwood floors, the Leeds Depot is a gorgeous space. It’s also decidedly not a gallery space. Yet filling two of its rooms with interpretive signage is precisely what the Mid-South Chapter of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society tasked Backstory to do.


The Agent's Office at the Leeds Depot was the first space we tackled.


The process happened fast because it had to. 


Fortunately, we had the right team. In early 2024, Backstory completed an interpretive plan and script for the Mid-South Chapter. In March, Kelton Design completed their artwork, and we were in production with Precision Graphics. By April, Jeremy was installing. 


We had the wind at our sails. 


We already had a version of an exhibit script for one the Leeds Depot spaces, written for a 2019 exhibit mounted at Vulcan Park and Museum. Backstory wrote that interpretive plan and wrote that script.


We also had two of the minds behind that earlier project working with us: Mid-South Chapter members Marvin Clemons and James Lowery. Marvin and James are two supremely knowledgeable collaborators who helped us rework the old script -- and develop all new elements for the Agents' Office space. 


Finally, we brought Kelton Design to the table. Kelton Design is the very company that executed the original Terminal Station exhibit. In other words, we had the InDesign files and lots of “look and feel” elements from the Terminal Station exhibit. From those files and original sources, Kelton Design developed all new graphics for the Agent's Office space and repurposed designs for the Terminal Station space.


To discuss how Backstory can help you launch your interpretive space, contact Phil Ratliff at 205.234.0336, ratliffphillip@gmail.com. It's surprisingly easy and may cost less than you think.


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