Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Recently someone asked me if there is a difference between exhibit and exhibition and what is it? I can see why this question comes up since many artists use these terms interchangeably.
In the art community either one will work when talking about a public showing of artwork, many other places will accept either one as well. So, from the point of view of communicating with others, it really doesn't matter. The difference is in the definition and if one wants to go an extra mile and use these terms correctly.
If we keep the use of these words to the artist's world, then:
Exhibit - is an artwork that is part of collection of other artworks or a sole artwork being presented in a public showing. In other words exhibit is a single piece of art that is part of the Exhibition.
Exhibition - is a public showing of art (usually multiple artworks but can be a single artwork). In other words exhibition is a way of showing multiple (or single) exhibits to the public. Exhibiting - is a process of showing artworks that are part of an exhibition.
Interestingly enough even Wikipedia has definition for exhibition where exhibit and exhibition are considered equally the same:
-- Art exhibitions are traditionally the space in which art objects (in the most general sense) meet an audience. The exhibit is universally understood to be for some temporary period unless, as is rarely true, it is stated to be a "permanent exhibition". In American English, they may be called "exhibit", "exposition" (the French word) or "show". In UK English, they are always called "exhibitions" or "shows", and an individual item in the show is an "exhibit". --
Hope this will clear things up a little,
My on-line Art Exhibition