Above: Medina at the opening of her personal exhibition at the Multimedia Art Museum, 2018. 

Medina Kasimova (www.medina.art), the daughter of .ART founders Ulvi and Reikhan Kasimovs, is a testament to the profound impact of art in overcoming personal challenges. Facing significant speech and communication hurdles from a young age, Medina found her sanctuary and voice in the world of art, transforming canvases into vivid narratives of her soul’s journey. Her early years were marked by an unmistakable attraction to the realm of creativity, her hands tirelessly shaping and exploring the possibilities of expression through art. Even as a child, her dedication and love for hard work were evident, often seen in the way she would spend hours moulding clay figures with meticulous care.

Portraits by Medina Kasimova. Left to right: “Mother”, 2016; “Dad”, 2020; My sister Safka”, 2018.

This unyielding passion for art not only provided Medina with a means to communicate but also shaped her into an extraordinary artist, whose work speaks volumes beyond the conventional boundaries of language. Her father, Ulvi Kasimov, shares a poignant reflection on her life:

“She’s only 27, how is it possible to create such unique images at such a young age? However, there is an answer. In her past. This can now be called a stroke of luck, but 27 years ago, everything was seen in the opposite way. During childbirth, doctors almost strangled her, and only the blind faith of her parents, especially her mother, allowed them to first bring her back from the brink of death and then work long and persistently on the consequences of this catastrophe. Many, many years. Parents, family, and a Higher Power, in whose existence some believe, and some do not.

Medina’s desire to engage in art was from her earliest childhood. Naughty little fingers repeatedly took up work, and one important trait of Medina manifested itself very early on – a love for work. Can you imagine a five-year-old child tirelessly trying to mould a figurine from clay hour after hour? And so it was in all her activities up to the present day. Only today, this diligence is complemented by a unique perspective on the surrounding world, honed over the years. All together leads to well-thought-out details, to the brilliance of her work.

The desire to live, truly live, not just survive, has been ingrained in her since birth, and it is present in all her works. She generously shares this with those around her, with those who know her and those who don’t, with those who simply look at her work.

This unmasked desire to live to the fullest is what you absorb when you look at her work, and it lives in you for a long time afterward; this is the essence of Medina.”

“Flowers. Composition No. 7” by Medina Kasimova, 2022

Medina’s art transcends traditional communication barriers, offering a unique voice through vibrant colors and compelling compositions. Each piece reflects her personal journey and indomitable spirit. Her exhibition at the Multimedia Art Museum in 2018 was a significant highlight, showcasing her talent and determination.

“Landscape of Baku at night”, Medina Kasimova, 2019

The story of Medina Kasimova intertwines with the broader narrative of art therapy and resilience. It goes beyond the confines of a personal journey, touching lives and communities with the powerful message that art is not just an aesthetic experience but a vital tool for personal transformation and healing. Her life and art are a testament to the power of creativity in overcoming adversity, inspiring us to find our own paths of expression and healing.

“My teachers at Andriyaka Academy” by Medina Kasimova, 2020

The Art Therapy Initiative

Art therapy, which Medina has intuitively practiced, is a discipline that uses creative processes to improve mental, emotional, and physical health. Originating in the mid-20th century, it has been an effective tool in diverse settings, helping people confront and overcome personal and emotional challenges through creativity. Art therapy can include a variety of activities such as painting, drawing, sculpture, and digital art-making, and is known to help in processing emotions, reducing stress, and improving self-esteem and awareness.

The artist surrounded by her family. Left to right: Suleyman, Medina, Reykhan, Safiya and Ulvi Kasimov.

In line with their deep understanding of art’s healing power, .ART, driven by a family mission, has embraced this concept in their social responsibility efforts. The Art Therapy Initiative, inspired by Medina’s journey, is a testament to their commitment to promoting the therapeutic benefits of art. A significant part of .ART’s revenue supports this initiative, demonstrating their dedication to fostering the growth of art therapy as a vital discipline. This includes a notable philanthropic contribution: a $1 million scholarship fund for graduate studies in Art Therapy at the George Washington University, highlighting .ART’s role in nurturing the future of art therapy in an increasingly stressful world.