Adejoke Tugbiyele is an award-winning, queer, black artist and advocate based in Johannesburg. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture from the New Jersey Institute of Technology in 2002 and graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2013.
Tugbiyele works with a diverse range of materials including wire, natural fibers, fabric, and wood to create intricate sculptures, which are on occasion integrated into moving performances. Her works are charged with symbolic meanings that bridge and layer historical, cultural, and political ideas around race, gender, and sexuality with that of class, economy, sex-politics, and religion. They examine the role of religion in defining the way we view our bodies as well as the subversive role spirituality can play in reclamation towards healthy forms of self-love and acceptance. Tugbiyele engages ideas about matriarchal forms, systems and strategies in response to patriarchal frameworks, blurring the lines between the dual nature of masculinity and femininity.
Adejoke Tugbiyele has received the Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Grant in 2016 and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in 2015. The same year she was also included in the list of 100 Leading Global Thinkers by the Foreign Policy Magazine. During her tenure as a graduate student at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Tugbiyele was awarded the Amalie Rothschild '34 Rinehart Award in 2012 and the William M. Phillips '54 Scholarship for Best Figurative Sculpture in 2013. Her work is part of the public collections of the New York Museum of Arts and Design in New York, the Brooklyn Museum, the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, the Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of African Art, and the Newark Museum as well as the corporate collections of AMREF Health Africa, AIR Serenbe, Credit Suisse Bank and Sugar Hill Capital Partners in addition to distinguished private collections around the world.
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