Boy Scouts of America, Order of the Arrow

This past weekend was the annual Southern Region 9 Conclave at Moundville Archeological Park. A conclave is a gathering of Boy Scouts who are members of the Order of the Arrow. We had over 600 scouts from all over Alabama and Georgia at this event. Having it at Moundville made it extra special for me.

Just a few days before the event I was asked to help create an exhibit showcasing the history of Coosa Lodge. Coosa is the the Order of the Arrow lodge for the Greater Alabama Council, BSA. We worked with lodge adult and youth leadership to concept, design, and produce this exhibit in under 5 days! Before the weekend was over, scouts were calling it the "Coosonian."

See below for slide show.

(Mound photographs by Eric Sullivan, Coosa Lodge)


Helping Visitors Budget Time at Your Museum

Have you ever thought about how your museum guests plan their visit and budget their time? Lets look at an example of a typical grade school field trip:

8:30 till 10:00 (1.5hrs) Leave the school and travel to museum

10:00 till 10:30 (30 mins) Ticketing and orientation and potty break 

10:30 till 12:00 (1.5 hrs) Gallery visit

12:00 till 12:45 (45 mins) Lunch

12:45 till 1:00 (15 mins) Gift shop and potty break

1:00 till 2:45 (1.5hrs) Travel back to school

How long did they spend at the museum?

How long did they spend doing "deep thinking?"

How long did they spend getting an overall impression of the museum?

The answer to the last question should include the time used to plan the trip. Planning starts at home while using the museum's website to learn more about the things your group can do during the visit. But how long - on average - does each activity take?

The Kansas Cosmosphere has a handy online guide to help their guest plan their day BEFORE they leave home. The guide helps them plan in advance in the quite of their home or office where better concentration can occur. Their guests can then wisely budget their time before leaving, and hopefully have a better overall perception of the Cosmosphere throughout the day and after returning home.

What methods are you using to help visitors budget their time?

In the future I will write about the concept of cognitive mapping to help your visitor budget their time.

Tomorrowland @ Disney World


So I was searching Google images for design inspiration - who doesn't, right? Lo and behold I came across a blog post at about the Robots of Tomorrowland at Disney World. We  built the family of robots when I worked in Orlando for Presentations South, Inc. If I remember correctly, the Disney Imagineer came to our office with his original color pencil on canson paper sketch. We built all of the robots from these sketches. Those guys are still giving guests miles of smiles.

Streight's Raid - 150th Anniversary

May 3, 2013, marks the 150th anniversary of Union Colonel Abel D. Streight surrendering his M1848 Artillery Sword to Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest. (Curious that an infantry officer would carry an artilllery sword) The sword now resides at the Alabama Department of Archives and History. Many thanks to ADAH staff who gave us access to photograph and film this artifact for the production of our film about Streight's Raid for the Cullman County Museum.

You can see more behind the scenes pictures from the documentary we produced in the portfolio section.
Sword surrendered by Col. Abel D. Streight.

Sword surrendered by Col. Abel D. Streight.

Cullman County Courthouse

Commemorative displays for the Cullman County Courthouse which took a direct hit during the 2011 Alabama tornados. You can read more about the displays at this link from the Cullman Times newspaper: 20121119-085007.jpg

No Greater Love 9/11 Heroism Medal

It has been 11 years since 9/11, and the world we live in is a different place. As an American, I grieved for those lost and cried every day for two weeks. To process my emotions, I began a personal project – the "No Greater Love" heroism medal – to remember those that were lost risking their lives to save others. I would like to share the artwork for the medal with you today. Comment if you recognize symbolism in the design.


Birmingham Amateur Baseball Federation

Birmingham Amateur Baseball Federation

In the 1930s and 1940s, amateur baseball in Birmingham was big business. Every community and steel company had a team and took pride in their grit on and off the field. Sonny Jim Downey organized the Birmingham Amateur Baseball Federation and promoted the organization for many years. Kelton Design, working with the Friends of Rickwood Field and Vulcan Park & Museum, designed and produced an exhibit about baseball in Birmingham – from factory to field. This photograph is from a collection of recently discovered photographs, and hopefully will be used in a future exhibit at Rickwood Field, Birmingham, Alabama.

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Visitor Services at the Paul W. Bryant Museum

Visitor Services at the Paul W. Bryant Museum

The Paul W. Bryant is getting ready for yet another championship season by renovating their visitor lobby. Kelton Design evaluated how visitor’s navigated the current lobby. Can they find the receptionist? Can they find the museum entrance? Can they find the archives? And most importantly, at least to some visitor’s, can they find the bathroom? After looking at several different configurations of a visitor services desk, they chose this design. I’ll post photos later of before and after.

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Alabama in the Making, exhibit opening

Alabama in the Making, a new traveling exhibit for the Alabama Folklife Association, opened this past weekend at the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art, Tuscumbia. Kelton Design planned and designed five oral history stations with one representing each region of the state. Each station has an iPad with both audio and video recording of oral histories collected as part of a Smithsonian grant and the Alabama Community Scholars Institute. All of these collection are maintained at the Alabama Department of Archives and History. This exhibit is intended to make the rich oral histories of Alabamians come alive and accessible to the public. I hope you have a chance to see the exhibit when it comes to your part of Sweet Home Alabama. Please repost this so we can spread the word about the exhibit.

You can see more photos at this link:


Alabama Folklife Association

In the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to dig into an extensive collection of oral histories about folklife traditions collected by the Alabama Folklife Association and maintained at the Alabama Department of Archives and History. Kelton Design has planned, designed and produced an exhibit highlighting these oral histories. It will debut next week at the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art, Tuscumbia. The exhibit will travel the entire state, so look for it when it comes to your region of Alabama. Please feel free to retweet this post.Image