YARAT is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to nurturing an understanding of contemporary art in Azerbaijan and to creating a platform for Azerbaijani art, both nationally and internationally. Based in Baku, YARAT (meaning CREATE in Azerbaijani) was founded by Aida Mahmudova in 2011. YARAT realises its mission through an on-going program of exhibitions, education events and festivals. YARAT facilitates exchange between local and international artistic networks including foundations, galleries and museums. A series of reciprocal residencies further fosters opportunities for global cultural dialogue and partnership. Educational initiatives include lectures, seminars, master classes, and the Young Artist Project ARTIM (meaning PROGRESS in Azerbaijani).
ARTIM aims to encourage the next generation of Azerbaijani creative talent to seek a career in the arts, and gives young practitioners the opportunity to exhibit their works in a professional context. Founded as part of YARAT’s on-going commitment to growing local art infrastructure in 2012, YAY Gallery (meaning SHARE in Azerbaijani) supports both national and international artists. YAY is a social enterprise, so all proceeds from sales are shared between the artist and YARAT. Since its inception in 2011, YARAT has produced over 70 events, both in Azerbaijan and abroad. These include participation in biennales; two public art festivals; education courses for artists, art students and children; lectures, screenings and film festivals for the general public; and exhibitions of both Azerbaijani and international artists.