Naseem Mahmood Named Artist of the Week on the Nashville Sign

The Arts & Business Council, Blackbird Media, and F&M Bank have teamed up to present the Artist of the Week on The Nashville Sign. This week’s featured artist is Naseem Mahmood!

Naseem is a fine artist from a region in Kurdistan still considered to be a part of Iraq. He has created art in a variety of media and styles, but his central focus has been to represent the harrowing and inspiring story of Kurdish women refugees.

“I think all refugees understand the conflicting emotions of separating from their homeland and living somewhere else. I know something about this situation, and I want the world to know about it too.”

In his series of paintings titled “Longing Moment” he attempted to capture the moment of longing for what was lost that Kurdish women outside their countries experience. They have found themselves in a new environment where they are compelled to adapt to a more individualistic society, and loosen ties to their home communities. These paintings are styled to capture their feelings of loneliness, isolation and an inability to communicate or connect with their surroundings.

Naseem has always known he wanted to be an artist. After taking art classes throughout his compulsory education, he was able to study painting at the Institute of Fine Art in Duhok, Kurdistan, and earned his BFA in fine art sculpture in Erbil, Kurdistan. In 2016 he earned his MFA from the Academy of Art in San Francisco, and he currently teaches art in Nashville.

To see more of Naseem Mahmood’s Longing Moment series, as well as his photography and drawings, visit

Want to be featured on The Nashville Sign? Visual artists working in any medium, who are members* of the Arts & Business Council at the Basic Level ($30 annually) or above, are eligible to apply for Artist of the Week on The Nashville Sign.

*Those unable to become members due to financial barriers can be granted a waiver. Contact us at to be confidentially considered for a waiver.