Mehrdad (Nomi) Bagherpourhamedani was born in Iran during a critical period of upheaval when the country was involved in a war. When the war ended, he was seven years old and began showing a keen interest in drawing, which his parents nurtured by sending him to private drawing classes. Later as a teenager, he was trained in oil painting on canvas. Nomi received his Bachelor of Arts degree in graphic design in Shiraz, the cultural capital of Iran. During this time, he also took up batik printing on fabric and held art exhibitions.
One year after graduation, Nomi was invited by a friend to design for a jewelry store as a part of a small group. Despite the success of the store, he wanted something different in his life but still felt committed to pursuing art and design. He wanted to explore the world, meet new people, experience other cultures, and study different types of art. Moreover, it always bothered him to see injustice, oppression, and hatred in the region he grew up; therefore, he decided to leave his motherland. However, struggling to begin a new life in a new country and working to adapt to a culture led Nomi to realize that nothing is absolute; he missed parts of his own culture that had influenced him for his whole life but to which he did not feel strongly attached.
His business experience in the jewelry field motivated him to start the MFA program in Jewelry & Metal Arts at Academy of Art University in 2016. His work has been accepted into the annual Spring Show since 2017, and in 2019 he was the recipient of the Second Place MFA Award. Moreover, two of his works—part of his thesis collection entitled Evolving Modernity Within Tradition—were selected for the Enamelist Society’s Alchemy 5 exhibition, and one of the pieces won the student prize. Nomi seeks to develop work that explores and reestablishes harmony between tradition (or religion) and the values of a changing culture. He thinks this is what modern Iranian artists have in common with today’s global avant-garde society.