Santiago Medina

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Santiago Medina
Santiago Medina
Santiago Medina

(1964-04-21) 21 April 1964 (age 55)
Alma materCES University
Occupationsculptor, doctor
WebsiteMedina Fine Art

Santiago Medina (born in 1964) is a Colombian-American sculptor. Medina's diverse career spans work in art, medicine, medical imaging (Radiology), medical research, and education.

He is best known for his stainless steel sculptures – both outdoor monumental and indoor smaller works. He uses advanced medical imaging technology and software to design and create his masterpiece sculptures which include designs for institutions such as Harvard University School of Public Health,[1] Washington University in St. Louis, USA, Tufts University, Florida International University, CES University in Colombia, Miami Children's Hospital, St. Louis Catholic Church in Miami, Santa Maria de los Angeles Church (Colombia), Monasterio de la Santa Madre Laura (Colombia), and Ramson Everglades School in Miami.

Medina's works stand in multiple galleries and private collections throughout the world and has been seen at major international exhibitions including Art Basel Week Red Dot Fair in Miami, Palm Beach International Art Fair, Arte America (Miami, USA), Miami International Art Fair (MIA), Sincronia Feria de Arte (Bogota, Colombia), and Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.

Sculpture and artistic work[edit]

Santiago Medina

Medina's earliest sculptures in the 1990s were in clay and over time began to also work in bronze and stainless steel. The pieces became larger in the 2000s and 2010s. In 2012, he worked with renowned urban architect Juan Felipe Uribe de Bedout on the Cedro Verde Project in Colombia. In 2014, "Life", a nine-foot monumental stainless steel sculpture was installed at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts to celebrate the first centennial of the school.

Mariavelia Savino, well known curator and gallerist, summarizes Medina's art as: "What is most unique about contemporary artist Santiago Medina is his aesthetic depth and erudition to capture, in stainless steel and bronze, the authentic expressiveness of the visual arts. His art displays energetic but yet enigmatic spiraling figures in continuous movement rising to the heavens. The topics covered joy and harmony, lovers and maternal love, life and friendship, ecstasy and passion, are the fabric of who we are as humans. All these strong emotions converge in his seductive art. Endowed with a solid training in the masters but with avante-garde inspiration, the work of Santiago Medina is clearly captivating and will transcend generations.”[2]

Early life[edit]

Santiago Medina was born and raised in Medellin, Colombia to a family of Artists and Physicians. His great-grandfather Emiliano Mejia[3] was a pioneer photographer and painter in Colombia in the late 1800s and early 1900s. His grandfather, Rafael Mejia Uribe, was also a painter and prominent pediatrician in Colombia . He was the first director of Clinica Noel in the 1920s, a pediatric charity hospital in Medellin.[4] His father, Jorge Medina Gomez, was a physician and radiologist who graduated from Universidad de Antioquia School of Medicine at the head of his class. His mother, Susana, was a hospital volunteer at Medellin General Hospital

He attended the Dora Ramirez Art Institute in Medellin, Colombia since age 5. Dora Ramirez was a leading artist and renown teacher of her time who has paintings at the Museum of Antioquia.In the 1980s, he trained at Libe de Zulategui Atelier. De Zulategui a leading art teacher and critic in Colombia.

He studied at the Columbus School, a bilingual English-Spanish school, accredited both by the US and Colombian association of schools. He graduated at the head of his class and there he discovered his love for sports specially road cycling which is very popular in Colombia, country which breeds some of the top climbers in the world. In 1982, he start medical school at CES University with the idea of bringing medical sensibility to his strong artistic expression. He graduated first of his class and gave the graduation speech.


Inspired by the dual careers of Russian painter and lawyer Wassily Kandinsky and of his grandfather Rafael Mejia as a physician and artist he embark on doing medicine and art as complimentary careers. He decided to specialize in Radiology (Medical Imaging) because of its artistic 3D visual appeal and ground breaking technology. He did his Diagnostic Radiology (Medical Imaging) residency at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University in St. Louis, USA. He then subspecialized in Neuroradiology (Brain imaging) and Pediatric Radiology (Medical Imaging in Children) at Boston Children's Hospital a Harvard School of Medicine affiliated Hospital. Looking to bring a social meaning to his medical and artist work he enrolled in the Harvard School of Public Health to do a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Health Care Management. He then went ahead to become a leader in Evidence-based medicine in medical Imaging. He and co-editor Craig Blackmore, MD, MPH went on the publish in 2006, the first ever book on Evidence-Based Imaging[5] and subsequently with Kimberly Applegate, MD,MS a series on this topic including dedicated adult, pediatric and neuroimaging books.[6][7][8] He has co-authored more than 50 peer review articles in major international medical journals including Pediatrics, Radiology, Neurology, American Journal of Neuroradiology and Pediatric Radiology.[9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21]

While living in Boston he had the chance to see the monumental sculptures of Henry Moore at Harvard University ("Four Piece Reclining Figure") and Massachusetts Institute of Technology ("Three Piece Reclining Figure Draped"). As Medina studied these sculptures he realized the power of the monumental sculpture and the beauty of the abstract, a realization that gave a new direction to his future works.


Following his early training in rigorous academic artistic training with Ramirez and de Zulategui he enrolled in specialized courses at the Cincinnati Institute of Art and then at the University of Miami Night Art Program. After traveling in Italy in 1990s to study Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, he realized that in order to become a master sculptor he needed to have deeper training in drawing and oil painting. In 2003, he joins the Romero and Hidalgo Art Studios in Miami to work and study. Renowned Venezuelan master painters Abdon Romero and Sonia Hidalgo inspired him to master oil painting on linen in the tradition of the Renaissance masters ( Works from this 2000s included paintings from his blue period “Hope” and “Enlightment“ currently at the College of Medicine Florida International University. Commissions for CES University Founders Library included “Imagine: A tribute to John Lennon” and “Da Vinci, the universal man”. Religious commission included “Resurrection” for Saint Louis Catholic Church in Miami, USA, “ Jesus Savior” for Santa Maria de Los Angeles Church in Colombia and “A tribute to John Paul ll” for Saint Madre Laura Convent in Colombia.

Santiago Medina in Workshop

To further his studies in monumental sculpture he studies and works with American sculptor Nilda Comas at the Legacy Art Studio in Pietrasanta, Italy and Ft. Lauderdale, USA.While studying in Pietrasanta and Carrara in Italy he decided to open large studios in Miami (Pinecrest), USA and Medellin, Colombia devoted primarily to sculptures. Early bronze works are at the Washington University School of Becker Medical Library and Harvard School of Public Health FRANÇOIS-XAVIER BAGNOUD building.

Medina explains the passion behind his sculptures as "I bring inert bronze and stainless steel to life by creating timeless masterpieces for art lovers. " In 2013 during the Centennial of the Harvard School of Public Health, Medina started to work on a monumental sculpture to commemorate such an important event. The nine-foot-high monumental stainless steel sculpture "Life" was unveiled at Harvard in October 2014. Medina explains the motivation behind the sculpture: “ I wanted to capture the essence of the Harvard School of Public Health which is the improvement of life. My inspiration was the double helical DNA molecule which is the code for all forms of life. Therefore, the sculpture has a double helical spiraling shape. Stainless steel with its very high quality finish was used not only because of its beauty and durability; but because it reflects life around it constantly changing its mood as the day, night and seasons come and go. In addition, the sculpture is actually alive by changing not only its look but also its temperature from the chili New England winters to the pleasant summer days.”

In 2015, Medina is working on a monumental stainless steel sculpture for Miami Country Day School to celebrate its 75th anniversary.

Among his most important exhibitions during his career are 2006 Colombia Consulate in Miami, USA; 2011 and 2014 Art Basel Week Red Dot Fair, 2013 and 2014 Palm Beach International Art Fair, Biltmore Hotel Coral Gables Solo Exhibitions (2010, 2011 and 2014), 2012 Arte America, 2013 Houston Art Fair, Miami International Art MIA Fair (2013, 2014), Sculpt Miami (2013,2014) and Sinfonia Art Fair Bogota (2014).[22][23][24][25][26]


In 1980 was selected to paint a Mural for the Piloto Public Library Medellin's (Colombia) most important public library. In 1981 he became an Honorary Citizen of Huntsville, Alabama USA for improving cultural and artistic relationships between the US and Colombia. In 1999, the US Immigration and Naturalization Service granted Santiago Medina an Alien of Extraordinary Ability Immigrant Visa. Granted under very special circumstances to applicants who can prove outstanding artistic, scientific, athletic, community, or scholarly performance, this Visa affords the recipient and his family permanent residence status in the US.


Monumental works[edit]


  1. ^ "Centennial Sculpture Unveiling". Harvard Public Health Journal: 45. Winter 2015.
  2. ^ needs citation
  3. ^ Jaime Osorio Gomez. Fotografia de Antioquia. Villegas Editores. 2012.
  4. ^ Efrain Bonilla. La Cirugia Pediatrica, una obra de Caridad. Revista Colombiana de Cirugia (Rev Colomb Cir). 2013;28:266-70.
  5. ^ Medina LS, Blackmore CC. Evidence-Based Imaging: Optimizing Imaging in Patient Care. Springer. 2006
  6. ^ Medina LS, Applegate KE, Blackmore CC. Evidence-Based Imaging in Pediatrics: Optimizing Imaging in Pediatric Patient Care. Springer. 2010.
  7. ^ Medina LS, Applegate KE, Blackmore CC. Evidence-Based Imaging: Improving the Quality of Imaging in Patient Care. Springer. 2011.
  8. ^ Medina LS, Sanelli PC, Jarvik JG. Evidence-Based NeuroImaging Diagnosis and Treatment: Improving the Quality of Neuroimaging in Patient Care. Springer. 2014.
  9. ^ Medina LS, Pinter JD, Zurakowski D, Davis RO, Kuban KK, Barnes PD. Children with Headache: Clinical Predictors of Brain Lesions and the Role of Neuroimaging. Radiology. 1997; 202:819–824.
  10. ^ Medina LS, Siegel MJ, Bejarano PA, Glazer HS, Anderson DJ, Mallory GB. Pediatric Lung Transplantation: Radiographic-Histopathologic Correlation. Radiology 1993; 187:807–810.
  11. ^ Medina LS, Al-Orfali M, Zurakowski D, Young Poussaint T, Dicanzio J, Barnes PD. Diagnostic Performance of Fast-Screening and Conventional MRI in Children and Young Adults with Suspected Occult Lumbosacral Dysraphism. Radiology, 1999; 211:767–771.
  12. ^ Soto JA, Barish MA, Alvarez O, Medina LS. Detection of Choledocholithiasis with MR Cholangiography: Comparison of Three-Dimensional Fast SE, Single-Slice Half-Fourier Rapid Acquisition with Relaxation Enhancement (RARE) and Multi-Slice Half-Fourier RARE Sequences. Radiology. 2000; 215:737–745.
  13. ^ Medina LS, Zurakowski David. Measurement Variability and Confidence Intervals in Medicine: Why Should Radiologists Care? Radiology. 2003; 226:297–301. No. 2.
  14. ^ Medina LS, Aguirre E, Bernal B, Nolan A. Functional MR Imaging versus Wada Test for Evaluation of Language Lateralization: Cost Analysis. Radiology 2004; 230:49–54.
  15. ^ Medina LS, Bernal B, Dunoyer C, Cervantes L, Rodriguez M, Pacheco E, Jayakar P, Morrison G, Ragheb J, Altman NR. Seizure Disorders: Functional MR Imaging for Diagnostic Evaluation and Surgical Treatment. Radiology July 2005; 236(1):247-53.
  16. ^ Medina LS, Bernal B. The role of functional MR in determining language dominance in epilepsy and non-epilepsy populations: A Bayesian Analysis. Radiology. 2007 Jan; 242(1):94–100.
  17. ^ Medina LS, Blackmore CC. Evidence-based Radiology: Review and Dissemination. Radiology: Volume 244: Number 2. August 2007.
  18. ^ Medina LS, Study Design and Analysis in Neuroradiology. A Practical Approach. American Journal of Neuroradiology. 1999; 20:1584–1596.
  19. ^ Medina LS, Kuntz KM, Pomperoy S. Children with Headache Suspected of Having a Brain Tumor: A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Diagnostic Strategies. Pediatrics 2001. 108:255–263.
  20. ^ Medina LS, Crone K, Kuntz KM. Newborns with Suspected Occult Spinal Dysraphism. A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Diagnostic Strategies. Pediatrics 2001. 108.
  21. ^ Jayakar P, Bernal B, Medina LS, Altman NA. False lateralization of language Cortex on functional MRI after a cluster of focal seizures. Neurology 2002; 58:490–492.
  22. ^ The Miami Herald. The Ticket. 29 October 2010. Santiago Medina Art Reception at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.
  23. ^ Biltmore Food and Wine Calendar Fall 2010 Santiago Medina Art Exhibition.
  24. ^ Biltmore Food and Wine Calendar Spring 2011 Santiago Medina Art Exhibition.
  25. ^ South Florida Luxury Guide Sep/Oct 2012 page 91.
  26. ^ Sculpt Miami Contemporary Sculpt Art Fair. Brochure December 2011.