meet an artist mondayAdeola Davies-Aiyeloja took a winding and intuitive path to realizing her vision as an artist—from early enjoyment to a self-taught discipline and years as an educator, to a practice built on discovery, history, ancestry, beauty, empathy, and the magical relationship of ancestral spirits and contemporary abstract modalities. With a double interest in the truths of the past and the eternal flow of the present into the future, and the occasional appearance of figures when a story needs telling, Adeola creates work that is both lovely and visceral, and movingly unforgettable.


Adeola Davies-Aiyeloja

L.A. WEEKLY: When did you first know you were an artist?

ADEOLA DAVIES-AIYELOJA: Since I was a child, I’ve always enjoyed working with my hands. However, I didn’t see it as creating art because it wasn’t something recognized in my cultural context. I do recall receiving encouragement from my British English teacher in secondary school, and that has stuck with me over the years.


What is your short answer to people who ask what your work is about? 

I take a versatile approach to my work, drawing from various disciplines. By delving into history, I aim to promote social and cultural understanding, encouraging us to envision and strengthen our connection to humanity. Additionally, I create abstract art that includes both non-objective and figurative elements.


Adeola Davies-Aiyeloja

What would you be doing if you weren’t an artist? 

Planting crops. Nurturing and shaping young minds. For more than two decades, I served as a public educator, teaching electives in middle school. Throughout those years, art became my sanctuary, and I persist in making room for creative pursuits. In 2019, I retired from teaching to wholeheartedly pursue my professional art calling. My years of teaching continue to influence and inform my artistic practice. Even if I’m not in the role of an artist, I’d still be molding young minds!


Did you go to art school? Why/Why not? 

I am autodidactic! Pursuing a degree in Art wasn’t an encouraged path in my upbringing. I hold a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and a Master’s in Instructional Technology. Despite this, I nurtured my art passion by taking a few college art classes on the side and participating in workshops with artists I admired.


Adeola Davies-Aiyeloja

When was your first show? 

Throughout the years, I’ve taken part in numerous exhibitions. Following my retirement, I had my inaugural professional solo show titled Echoes of Shadow Revealed at Progress Gallery, where I was granted over 3000 square feet of exhibition space. It served as a genuine retrospective and a reintroduction into the art world. The exhibition aimed to create social awareness by delving into the lives of immigrants hidden in the shadows. “Shadows” became a metaphor, symbolizing the process of uncovering and emerging into the light—a journey toward understanding one’s true self.


When is/was your current/most recent/next show or project? 

February and March have brought forth a series of rewarding exhibitions. I’m thrilled to announce my upcoming solo show titled Sacred Imprints | Bearing Witness to Ancestral Spirits at Gallery 825, Los Angeles Art Association. This collection was conceived during my time as an Artist in Residence at Château Orquevaux. It delves into the ancestral spirits intertwined with the transatlantic slave trade, drawing inspiration from my recent pilgrimage to Cape Coast and Elmina Castles in Ghana. This profound journey has ignited within me an urgent need to give voice to the past, employing it as a metaphor for our contemporary experiences. The exhibition kicks off on March 23rd, from 10am to 5pm, with an artist talk scheduled for April 20th. The show will run through April 26th and is free and open to the public by appointment.


Adeola Davies-Aiyeloja

Do you listen to music while you work? If so, what? 

Certainly! I find my creative flow in the midst of a lively studio atmosphere. My playlist is quite diverse, tailored to my mood. Some days kick off with the soothing sounds of Navajo flutes or classical music, transporting me to a realm of spirituality and zen. When I need a slow and steady groove, Bob Marley takes me back to the memories of younger years. For those moments of energetic creation involving large, gestural marks and layers, I turn to the infectious rhythms of Afrobeats and highlife Nigerian music. And when I’m engaged in studio upkeep tasks like cleaning, I enjoy tuning into podcasts. The variety keeps the creative vibes flowing!


What artist living or dead would you most like to show or work with?

There are far too many to choose from but a few would be Hilma Klint, June Edmonds, Loïs Mailou Jones, Picasso, Kahlo, Basquiat, Wangechi Mutu.


Website and social media handles, please!

IG: @adeolastudio_art/

IG: @adeolametalsmithstudio

FB: DaviesAiyeloja/


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Adeola Davies-Aiyeloja



















































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