Stanly County History Center set to unveil new interactive exhibit

ALBEMARLE — The Stanly County History Center is currently working on the final stages of a new project that is set to be officially unveiled in September (on a date to be determined), according to a recent announcement from Stanly County Museum Director Megan Sullivan. 

The “Albemarle: Then and Now” interactive exhibit will allow viewers to take a deep dive into viewing the history of the city through the lens of AI-reimagined photos and videos.  

“We will soon have a 4×5 foot by 9-foot drone shot of downtown Albemarle on display, and visitors will be able to create and learn what early 20th century Albemarle looked like,” Sullivan announced in a post on the history center’s social media page. “This project was made possible because of funding from the North Carolina Humanities and the federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) grant.” 

The county has been collaborating on the project with My Different Perspective — a video and photography business headed by Michael Lanier, who described in a preview video for the interactive exhibit how the project came to be. 

“A little over a week ago, Megan Sullivan with the Stanly County History Center contacted me regarding an idea she had for a project for the History Center. Armed with my drone and hours of prep, flying, and editing, we are entering the final stages in order to bring a wonderful new feature to the Stanly County History Center,” Lanier wrote. 

The video includes a description of what the project aims to achieve for those who come to see it. Using a combination of drone images, videos, and computerized technology, viewers can utilize a combination of “magna-tiles” to build a customized version of downtown Albemarle. The exhibit will include photos of businesses and houses that used to be an active part of the city’s landscape. 

The Stanly County Museum is a department of the Stanly County Public Library and works closely with the Stanly County Historical Society, whose office is housed in the museum’s building.  

Previous and current exhibits at the museum include “Live and in Technicolor,” “Stanly County: “The Land Between the Rivers,” ”Play Ball! Stanly County Baseball through the Years,” and “Main Gallery: A General History of Stanly County.” 

Located at 157 North 2nd Street in Albemarle, open hours are Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. (as well as the first Saturday of each month between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.); there is no cost to admission.