Exhibition as a form for demonstrating achievements


Ilze Meldere, Aleksandra Slahova, Maris Cacka, Ilze Volonte

Daugavpils University, Daugavpils, Latvia

aleksa@dau.lv, artdep@dau.lv





Exhibition is a means of implementation of ideas and possibilities. It can be regarded as a form of human achievements, that fosters human development as well can be perceived as a kind of work carried on independently and continuously, that nourishes further development of an artist. Exhibition helps to comprehensively understand more about oneself and to foster the possibility of growth in culture in general and in art – partly.

Key words: culture, exhibition, kinds of exhibitions, the meaning of exhibition.


1. Types of exhibitions and their characteristics.

Exhibition is a procedure of illustrating human spiritual and material achievements.

First exhibitions took place in Europe at the end of the 16th century these were local establishments (works of cloister school students). On the 18th century exhibitions become more commercialized and industrial, the ultimate purpose of which were to institute technological innovations). Exhibitions were arranged in 1763 in   Paris; 1765 in Dresden, in 1786 in Berlin, on 1818 in Munchen, and on 1843 in Manchester.

In the 20th century more international exhibitions were arranged, majority of them reminded international markets. World exhibitions were organized as well. These were permanent centers (for example, in the USA, in London, Milan, Stockholm, Paris, Tokyo) as well as a number of commercial exhibitions (‘British week in Europe, Asia, US, and in Australia).

In Latvia first significant exhibitions were arranged in the 19th century. For example, in 1895, Jelgava's Agricultural society has organized agricultural, craft and industrial exhibitions. First international exhibitions frequently took place in Riga in 1901 and from 1921 such kind of exhibitions were arranged on a regular basis. The first art exhibition in Latvia was arranged in 1941 (Jekans, Ziemelis, 1983). Since 1957 in Riga, in park of culture “Mezaparks” permanent exhibition of human achievements welcomes spectators on a regular basis. 

Since 70th and, particularly, in 80th open air exhibitions are becoming progressively popular (with a constant extension of exposition). In 60th painting exhibitions become more popular, where the center has been put on sculpture. These were sculpture gardens in Riga, Sigulda, and in Liepāja (Ritenberga, 1989).

Since 1972, it was decided to organize exhibitions of sculptures once in 4 years, that was typical for that time (http://www.sculpturequadrennial.lv/lvhistory.htm).

Exhibitions can be grouped in the following way:

According to

1.                  The aim-

·                                Commercial;

·                                Educational (art exhibitions, scientific, agricultural).

2.                  Regular;

·                                            Episodical;

·                                            Permanent (permanent exhibitions most often turn into museums as a result).

3. According to a content of exhibits:

·                                Universal (covers many sciences, techniques, and branches of culture);

·                                Specialized exhibitions (covers one branch where displays of professionals and artists can be observed);.

4. According to a number of contributors implied:

·                                            World;

·                                            International;

·                                            Regional;

·                                            Local.

Art exhibitions can be classified into few groups:

·                                            According to a variety of exhibits (painting, graphics, sculpture, applied, generative art) or according to branches (different kinds of design – craft or industrial), and creative art work exhibition of students;

·                                            According to an organization, the drawing of members can be displayed (Society of Artists or the Union of Young Artists, workshops for teachers and students of the Academy of Art);

·                                            There can be short term or transferable express exhibitions, as well as complex exhibitions of art;

·                                            Other activities from life of artists, as exclusive events, such as scientific expeditions, where one can acquire more relevant information about the archeology and ethnography, or anniversaries can also be organized.

There are different kinds of exhibitions in drawing 1.









Drawing 1. Different kinds of exhibitions


Personal exhibition – exhibits of material and spiritual achievements of one artist.

Collective or group exhibitions – exhibition of material and spiritual achievements of several artists.

Biennale (from Italian ‘biennale’ – for two years) is an art exhibition, festival, meeting that takes place on a regular basis once in 2 years. Venetian Biennial exhibitions are very popular which are taking place since 1895 (Власов, 2000).

Triennial – exhibition of works of art, which takes place once in three years.

Quadrennial exhibitions – takes place once in 4 years, for example, exhibition, which took place in Riga (http://www.sculpturequadrennial.lv/lvhistory.htm).

Forum (from English “forum”) is a free discussion (Treilona, 1997). According to dictionaries of pedagogy and psychology, one requires to come to a conclusion that these words have no explanation, therefore we appear with such an interpretation: Forum is an event that gathers all who are interested about one subject. It is dedicated to one artist or to a large group of artists. Forum offer a probable opportunity to all the contributors to come together, to communicate their view and to be heard.

            Symposium is organized to move the society to a socially active understanding of the contemporary art, by involving it in the creative process through the system of values and emotions.

Symposium offers possibilities of implementing projects of artists for public in the field of communication. The theoretical basis of Symposium is described in the book of Herbart Marial Makluen (“understanding of media”) www.artgarten.lv/index.php?section=1). All media can be classified according to their perception as “hot” and “cold”. “Hot” media leaves influence on one of the senses of perception, till they become rich in details, but do not require active participation of a spectator. (Photography becomes optically rich). “Cold” media require active participation of the society, feeling and thinking (all kind of improvisation, different kinds of theater) (http://www.artgarten.lv/index.php?section=news&catid=1).

            Auction (from English ‘auction' and from Latin ‘auctions' is an expansion, the raise of the value), selling, which is supported by consumers, by offering higher price. Art works are usually bought in an auction, therefore their worth cannot be compared to a value of the art, therefore is not fixed. The holder of the art, by the ambiguous wish to trade it higher, displays the work in an auction, where professional experts of art do a full evaluation of the art in order to prevent cheating. Then art dealers offer their primary price. The first public auction occurred in Holland on 17th century. On 18th century bigger auctions took place in Paris and London. Till now there are two types of auctions: Holland's and English' auctions. In Holland's exhibition the highest price is recognized at the beginning, afterward. it can be reduced while work is being sold. English' exhibition begins with a lower price, but it can raise and the one who offers the highest prize before the third hit of the hammer, is a winner. There are works of “soul” from the aesthetics and artistic side that has no value but it does not reduce the opportunity to purchase a piece of art for money. (Власов, 2000).

            Business exhibition (from Latin “com – mercium” means to sell, to posses property), and can be possessed as a property. In Latvia, such large scale exhibitions, as an example, are auto show, or the exhibition “Home”.

            Educational exhibition called “School” has already been arranged in Latvia few years. The exhibition ‘School' in order to be competitive with other schools has its own display board (http://www.lcca.lv/lvrobezparkapeji.html).

            The location of art works is also essential in educational establishments that foster the possibilities of perception of art work. Museums are the establishments that foster the development of understanding about art. Acquaintance with pieces of art is possible in closed and open air space museums, for example, in Latvia these are Ethnography museum, artist workshops, exhibition halls, galleries, art saloons, and different exhibitions.

There are subject groups in the exhibitions:

·                                Applied art (any three dimensional object) - spatial objects are regarded to be such objects, made by architects, designers, scenographs, and by the applied art professionals (Austruma, Savicka, 2000; Hibnere, 2000).

·                                Fine art (can be any two dimensional objects) – picture, drawing, sculpture, photography).

·                                Four dimensional art (fourth dimension is time). These pieces of art represent a movement. These pieces of art can be viewed as pieces of art of synthesis, because without the elements of visual art great role has been paid to the sound (environmental noises, music, and the name). As such, cinematic art, video and action art can be considered belonging to this category.

·                                Generative art. Generative art refers to any art practice where the artist uses a system, such as a set of natural language rules, a computer program, a machine, or other procedural invention, which is set into motion with some degree of autonomy contributing to or resulting in a completed work of art (Galanter, 2003).

·                                Written materials.

Art puts forward serious questions, whether for the a spectator or an artist. J.Kalnins told that art can not be plucked as a flower or tasted, it can not fully perceived only theoretically, as it is with any philosophical system, - art can be lived out in its own unique expression. Feelings, which we gain with the help of art, differ from real feeling which we gain in practical life. (Lasmane,  Milts,  Rubenis, 1995).

At the exhibition the most important is the reflection. It can be well seen in drawing 2.




Casella di testo: art


Drawing 2.  Reflective process of the exhibition.






               By observing drawing 2 we can see, that there is a reflective process between the author, spectator and the art. In the exhibition hall, we always come across new information or object, that influence our creative thinking and helps us to see things in a new light. In order to do that, we need knowledge and understanding in order to study and to discover new combinations. Creative process is not possible without inspiration; therefore it is important not only to attend exhibitions but also to participate in exhibitions.

Organization of exhibitions has to do with training, person acquires new skills. It is essential to clarify which training is needed and which are the approaches that can be used (Garjāns, 1997). Contemporary exhibition is not only “visual presentation”, but is also an “exhibition” (Zeidere-Janiševska, 2001).

            Participation in the art exhibition is closely connected with the kind of art work and rules of organization. The main criteria of exhibition are professionalism and completeness (Mace & Ward, 2002).

The following factors need to be mentioned which can be summed as a value of subject of the exhibition:

·                                Originality;

·                                Scientific significance;

·                                Validity;

·                                The amount of information;

·                                First hand information;

·                                Artistic level;

·                                Aesthetic qualities;

·                                Preserving degree.

To make an exhibit one can choose several methods:

·                                Systematic method - arrangement of exhibits that is appropriate to certain principles of classification. This method can be used by demonstrating collections;

·                                The method of ensemble – indicates to realistic relationships between the objects of the museum. This is attractive method but there are some difficulties with the presentation of abstract information;

·                                Thematic method. There is an idea on its base, several materials of exposition, which have to do with the certain themes, which are arranged in logical complexes to display the desired idea.

Within the frames of one exhibition there might be different kids of complementary art, such as music, theatre, applied art, circus, architecture, decorative art, graphics, literature, dance, photography, television, industrial art.


2.  Exhibition for the developing of a creative person.

It was decided in the Department of Art at Daugavpils University to study views of students about the meaning of the exhibition for the development of creative personality.

Fifty 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students from “Art” and “Design” programs who participated in the experiment were offered a questionnaire. The first question was: “Do you attend exhibitions voluntarily?”. By summarizing the results of the questionnaire on the following data can be offered (Drawing 3).

Drawing 3.  Responses to the question “Do you attend exhibitions voluntarily?.


The second question: “How often do you attend exhibitions?” Students’ answers can be classified in the following way (Drawing 4):

·                                Once a month;

·                                Once in 3 month;

·                                Once in six month.


Drawing 4.  Responses to the question “How often do you attend exhibitions?”


From all the students interviewed, 84% (42 students) responded that they attended the exhibition once a month, 12% (6 students) once in three month, and 4% (2 students) only once in half of a year. This means that exhibition is a form of development of professional interests, which all students use in their educational process. 

The answers on the question: “Do you acquire anything new while attending an exhibition?” can be seen in the drawing 5.

While attending the conference, almost each participant gains something new. Research results confirm it. 96% of all interwieved students responded with “yes”.

The fourth question: “Do exhibition as a cultural event develop creative thinking?”  (Drawing 6).


Drawing 5.   Responses to the question ‘Do you gain anything new while attending an exhibition?”


Drawing 6.   Responses to the question “Do exhibition as a cultural event develop creative thinking?”


On the fourth question 100% of all 50 respondents answered with “yes”, therefore we can conclude that exhibition develops creativity.

In Daugavpils University in the Department of Art once a semester there are students - teacher exhibitions of creative work.

After 3 exhibitions, students as participants of exhibition were offered a questionnaire with the following questions:

1. Did you enjoy to see your creative work in the exhibition arranged in Daugavpils University?”

2. Are you planning to continue participating at the exhibitions?

3. Do you have a desire to offer your creative work in the exhibition organized by the city?

The results of students’ answers to the question “Did you enjoy to see your creative work in the exhibition arranged in Daugavpils University” can be seen in the 7th drawing. Thirty eight of all respondents answered with “yes” to the question.


Drawing 7.   Responses to the question “Did you enjoy to see your creative work in the exhibition arranged by Daugavpils University?”

Drawing 8.  Responses to the questionAre you planning to participate at the exhibitions?”



Drawing 9. Responses to the question “Do you have a desire to offer your creative work in the exhibition organized by the city?”


On the question Are you planning to continue participating at the exhibitions?” 37 of all respondents responded with “yes” (Drawing 8). This means that respondents will continue participating at the exhibitions; only one student did not responded to this question.

The last question was: “Do you have a desire to offer your creative work in the exhibition organized by the city?” (Drawing 9). Nine students of all interviewed gave a positive response. This means that they have a desire to offer their creative work for the City’s exhibition. Twenty five all interviewed students were sure about themselves or still have doubts, but 4 students from the all interviewed did not respond on this question at all.

To summarize, one can conclude that exhibition has a great role developing students’ interest about the art and culture.  For students from the Department of Art it is essential to demonstrate their exhibitions publicly. By doing this, students acquire deeper meaning of culture, as well as appreciation of culture. Exhibitions develop students aesthetically and in creative activities as well (Students, 1998; Бухвалов, 1996)



Perception of the art work develops one’s understanding about art by offering specific knowledge about one or another kind of art, and help art to acquire the status of value of art.

The main aim of art is to develop artistic needs and the ability of perception, teaches to appreciate and to value art as well as to develop students’ artistic abilities and skills, to develop their ideals, and to be able to differ real value of art from pseudo value and anti-values; to develop person’s independence and further education.

The most known are classical, as well as contemporary branches of culture and art that has to do with learning where students can show themselves as individuals as well by presenting their personal exhibition, or by designing group art exhibitions.

Participation at the exhibitions develops students’ aesthetically, develop their creativity and foster their willingness to develop life long.



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