Kelvingrove Link

Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Artist Andrew Ratcliffe, Higher Art Pupils

Anne Wallace is the head of education at Glasgow's Galleries and Museums. Anne has a dual role, working in both education and the arts. She is constantly seeking new ways of engaging school pupils with the artist work of the galleries and museums in Glasgow. And even though a free bus is offered to schools so that pupils can come to visit the galleries, the offer is only taken up by a small number of secondary schools in Glasgow because of real-world logistical difficulties associated with taking pupils out of schools - safety issues, guardian permissions, staff cover and time.

The idea was to use the technology to go directly into higher art classrooms from the art gallery. The educational aims were: to encourage young people to visit the galleries; and to help them make best use of the visiting artist resource that had presented itself. Kelvingrove Art Gallery paid for the programme coordination work with some of their education budget.

The link between the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and three Glasgow schools was designed to allow each of three school, Allsaints, Holyrood and Smithycroft, 30 minutes of contact with the portrait painter Andrew Ratcliffe while he visited the Gallery to give a talk.

Linking Three Schools

Technical Services

Technical Services: School support provided by technicians in each of the schools. Technicians deliver the videoconferencing units to each classroom and set them up for the teacher to use. The schools videoconferencing service provider provided an access to each school, first of all through the ISDN/IP bridge between the schools network and the outside world; and then to each videoconferencing unit in each school. Technical support at the Kelvingrove was provided by staff inhouse, who set up the unit.

Theatre of Communication At The Kelvingrove Art Gallery

In the room used for presentation at the Kelvingrove, Andrew's easel is displayed. On it is a picture he had painted of his wife. The picture was painted in a school over the course of a week. He is ready with the painter's box, tubes of paints and the brushes he uses. He also has a 10 minute talk ready.

Theatres of Communication: At the Schools

School Scenarios: The higher Art classroom where students are studying. The teacher is there at each school. Camera presets are set on contributing pupils, and art materials on the wall so the work of the class can be shown. Pupils are prepared for the link with biographical materials about Andrew Ratcliffe, examples of his works, short presentations and questions they may like to ask.

Andrew Ratcliffe Talking With Higher Art Pupils

Prescience Communications Programme Coordination

For Education Authority

The first task was to prove the feasibility of using the Kelvingrove Art Gallery as a place from which a suitable Artist Talk could take place. The second task was to decide upon three suitable schools, and to see if we could fit them in to three 30 minute slots, one after the other.

A short biography of Andrew Ratcliffe was sent to each of the schools in preparation for the link, and the pupils did some research on their own. With Classrooms: pupils were preparing work for their examinations portfolio, so need to prepare them for Andrew, asking questions, and showing some of their work.


There was also a need for developing a script format and preparing the Kelvingrove staff and the visiting artist. We used a 30-minute script format: 1.Introductions: classroom, Kelvingrove (4 mins) 2.Presentation from Andrew Ratcliffe (10 mins) 3.Questions and Interactions (10 mins) 4.Wrap ups (3 mins)

Technical Services At Kelvingrove

The job here was to ensure that the technical officers in the schools could set up the videoconferencing equipment in the appropriate classrooms, and were able to record a videoconference. The next thing was to organise tests between each school and the Kelvingrove, and liaise with the Schools Network Provider regarding virtual meeting rooms for use during the conference.

Result of Link

Andrew Ratcliffe gave three different and inspiring short talks: one to each school. And because Andrew was speaking with aspiring artists, he had an immediate rapport with them, and with the art teachers. He discussed the work of pupils in each of the classrooms and gave extremely encouraging remarks about the quality of their work. He also described the steps that he took to become an artist. The links were recorded and given to the schools and council.
Pupil Showing Art Work to Andrew Ratcliffe

How We Can Help Content Providers

Prescience Communications has extensive experience in working with Content Providers for educational purposes. If you would like to open up some of the daily activities of your institution to real-world links with schools, we can help you to do that.