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Adenrele Sonariwo

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Adenrele Sonariwo
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Other names
Alma materHoward University, Academy of Art University, University of the Arts London
OccupationAccountant, Curator
Known for

Adenrele Sonariwo is a Nigerian accountant, enterpreneur, and art curator. She is the founder of the Rele Art Gallery on Military Street, Onikan, Lagos Island, Lagos, Nigeria. She was the lead curator of the first Nigerian pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017.


Sonariwo got her first degree in accounting at Howard University, then went on to work at PricewaterhouseCoopers as an accountant for four years.[1][2] She has an MA Multimedia Communications from the Academy of Art University and a certificate in Curating Contemporary Art Exhibitions from the University of the Arts London.[2]

Rele Gallery[edit]

On return to Nigeria, she founded Rele Art Gallery in 2010, though it didn't kick off as a physical space until February, 2015.[2] In 2011, while the idea of the gallery had started taking root, she attempted to start an arts university in Nigeria which she called The Modern Day School of the Arts.[3][1] It was "a pop up art school for art lovers who may be stuck in a different career."[4]

57th Venice Biennale[edit]

In 2017, Sonariwo became the lead curator of the first Nigerian pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale.[5][6] She was joined by writer and art critic Emmanuel Iduma as associate curator. The edition was themed Viva Arte Viva[7][4] and the Nigerian pavilion featured the work of Victor Ehikhamenor, Peju Alatise, and Qudus Onikeku.[8][9][10]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "I Am Creative With Adenrele Sonariwo". Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "From Accountant to Art Curator! Rele Art Gallery's Adenrele Sonariwo is our #BellaNaijaWCW this Week - BellaNaija". Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  3. Nescafé (2017-04-11). "Why Adenrele Sonariwo Quit Her Auditing Job To Launch An Art Gallery". Konbini Nigeria. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Adenrele Sonariwo; The Art Lover and Brain behind The Rele Gallery". Konnect Africa. 2017-09-08. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  5. name, Site. "The Venice Questionnaire #22 – Adenrele Sonariwo / ArtReview". Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  6. "56 editions after, Nigeria debuts at Venice Biennale - Premium Times Nigeria". Premium Times Nigeria. 2017-03-28. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  7. "57th International Art Exhibition - Viva Arte Viva". La Biennale di Venezia. 2017-03-09. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  8. "See the Highlights from Nigeria's Debut at the Most Important Art Exhibition in the World - La Biennale di Venezia - BellaNaija". Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  9. "Nigeria unveils first national pavilion at Venice art exhibition". Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  10. Orubo, Daniel (2017-03-24). "Meet The Nigerian Artists Set To Make History At The Venice Biennale". Konbini Nigeria. Retrieved 2017-11-25.

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