Adenrele Sonariwo is an award-winning curator, founder of Rele Art Gallery and Rele Art Foundation.
She holds a Masters of Fine Art – Academy of Art University San Francisco, CA, a Curating Contemporary Art Certificate – University of the Arts, London and a B.A. Business Administration/Accounting (Honors) Howard University, Washington, DC.
Adenrele Sonariwo was flying high in her career as an auditor in one of the big four companies in the USA, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
Desiring to do something new and different for herself, she quit her job, and moved to Nigeria in May 2010.
She decided to follow her passion for the arts and start the Rele Gallery: a cultural and contemporary art space that offers art for public consumption and at the same time, nurtures the creators of the art – bringing their work to the attention of a larger, global audience.
She has curated and over seen several commercially and critically successful high profile art exhibitions ; exhibitions that challenge the boundaries of art, engaging innovative subjects and techniques. She has also led the movement to break art out of ivory tower, with Rele gallery exploring and partnering with fields of technology, community social causes & health.
She was the first person to curate an art exhibition at Nigeria’s seat of power, The Presidency (Abuja) and has been featured in global publications such as the Financial Times, The Art Review, Forbes Africa, and Vogue.
In 2016, she won the Future Awards Africa Prize for Arts and Culture. In 2017, she curated the first ever Nigerian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. In 2018, she was selected as a member of the jury for the 13th edition of the Dakar Biennale.
Adenrele plans to reopen The Modern Day School of the Arts in the, a University she started in 2011 solely for the Arts.
Watch Adenrele’s TEDx speech as she shares the possibilities and opportunities in Nigerian Contemporary Art.