28th March 2008 at 00:00
An exhibition that encourages pupils to adopt a Sherlock Holmes approach to paintings has opened at the McLean Museum and Art Gallery in Greenock. Art Detectives, which runs until April 26, is the result of a collaboration between Inverclyde art teacher Julie Tormey and staff at the McLean.

Ms Tormey, who teaches S1 pupils at Notre Dame High, had embarked on a Masters project for her chartered teacher programme last August, which involved taking pupils on "virtual" visits to art galleries around the world.

"We had used the internet to look at paintings in cities such as Boston, New York, Paris and Singapore," she says. "Then paintings from our local gallery, the McLean, went online and I got in touch with the curator, Valerie Boa, to ask if we could come in to see four pictures that particularly interested us." (A fraction of its collection is on display at any one time.)

Ms Boa not only agreed to Ms Tormey's request, she suggested they put on a full-scale show based on her project. The result, some six months later, is Art Detectives, an exhibition aimed at P7-S1 with a focus on information gathering, personal observation and critical evaluation.

The exhibition comprises 50 pictures, ranging from the 1800s to the 1980s, broken into themes covering Work; Play and Sport; People; and Our World: then and now. Many of the works on show feature famous local people and places and Julie Tormey, who held an in-service session for teachers from 12 local primaries before the show opened, has produced a set of Art Detectives quiz sheets that will get visitors thinking, not just about the art but about the heritage of Inverclyde.

T: 01475 715624.

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