Adejoke Aderonke Tugbiyele

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Artworks shown are selected from works submitted by the artist in their grant or residency application. All works are copyright of the artist or artist’s estate.

About Adejoke Aderonke Tugbiyele

Adejoke Aderonke Tugbiyele, a Black woman with medium dark skin tone, gazes directly at the camera seated on a white couch. She wears a black fedora hat, black jacket and leather pants with a large patterned scarf.

Adejoke Aderonke Tugbiyele studied fine art after two decades in the field of architecture, receiving a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture from Rinehart School of Sculpture at Maryland Institute College of Art. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Hillier College of Architecture and Design at NJIT. Tugbiyele hails from the Royal family of former Okin of Igbajo, late Prof. Chief Emmanuel Akande Tugbiyele (Harvard Alum. ‘55, Graduate School of Education), and former Vice-Chancellor University of Lagos (UNILAG). She is the first openly-queer woman of Nigerian descent to appear on CNN International in a 2014 interview with correspondent Vladimir Duthiers. In 2023, she was awarded the Joan Mitchell Center Artist Residency in New Orleans (2024). She received the Prix Leridon, a grand prize by the distinguished Gervanne Leridon Matthias Collection during BISO2019!, is a 2016 Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Grant recipient, and was listed as one of 100 Leading Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy Magazine in 2015. In 2013, through the U.S. Student Fulbright Fellowship (USA/Nigeria), Tugbiyele toured Osun Oshogbo Sacred Grove, Osun State, Nigeria—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—followed by another sacred residency at Nirox Sculpture Park, Johannesburg, South Africa in 2019. Tugbiyele has lectured and sat on panels at distinguished institutions internationally. Her work has been mentioned and reviewed in numerous distinguished publications around the world. She serves as Juror and Mentor for Queer Artists Fund, a dynamic organization that supports queer artists working in Nigeria. Tugbiyele’s works reside in important public and private collections around the world.

Program Participation

Painters & Sculptors Grant, 2016

Website / Social Links

y work reveals how Yoruba philosophy and aesthetics can contribute to Western thought, as successfully found within applications of Buddhist and Hindu thought. My practice contributes to discourse on queer Yoruba aesthetics, thus challenging homophobia and standing in solidarity with the notion that 'Queer Love is Not UnAfrican.'”