Wilderness Graphics planned, designed, fabricated, and installed an exhibit located in a 275-square-foot room, highlighting the history of Captiva Island. The room size proved to be a great opportunity for us to utilize our creative team to develop a unique and “captivating” design. We turned the small room into the cabin of a mail boat – a strong historic feature of the early 20th century on Captiva. The mail boat was used to cross the bay every day to deliver mail and supplies to the islanders, a symbol of their isolation and independence. It retired in 1963. In our exhibit, each window of the boat is transformed into a “Window to the Past.”
Check out this short video recap!
A Closer Look
1. Three windows side by side convert into a three-screen multimedia video production featuring the “Spirit of Captiva.”
2. Another window becomes a one-screen production about the daily lives of its people.
3. Several windows use interpretive panels with a mix of touchscreen interactives to attract all ages.
4. Two murals on opposite sides of the cabin provide a “view” of the water from the boat.
5. Children can turn the ship’s wheel and watch the compass react to each motion, then push the throttle to move the tachometer. A weather station provides up-to-date, real-time information on climate outside.
6. Mechanical flip boards quiz the visitor on what they see in the mural.
7. Artifacts and replica items are placed behind rails for visitors to examine.
8. An engine cover replica serves as a bench for visitors to sit and enjoy the multimedia production.
9. A series of maps shows the physical topography of the island from the first drawings through today.
10. “Postcards From the Past” are actual postcards written by beachgoers in the 20th century. Visitors can decipher the handwriting to learn what they loved about Captiva.
Overall, we determined that the best way to capture Captiva and its charming history was to utilize technology to not only create a moving space, but to enhance the visitor experience. Touchscreens and video productions allow more information to be shared and easily updated, adding flexibility and longevity to the exhibit.
We would like to thank the Captiva Island Historical Society for providing us with this wonderful opportunity to preserve Captiva’s history and culture.