May 26, 2024

IE COMMUNITY NEWS

El Chicano, Colton Courier, Rialto Record

Adeola Davies-Aiyeloja is Championing Social Justice Through Art in San Bernardino

3 min read

Adeola Davies-Aiyeloja with a piece of her mosiac mural "The RISE!"

In the heart of San Bernardino County, a dynamic force driven by the creative vision and social commitment of Adeola Davies-Aiyeloja is shifting attitudes over art and social justice. Adeola is a Southern California BIPOC artist with a multidisciplinary approach that covers painting, printmaking, digital collage, and more, Adeola has also spent over three decades advocating for social and health causes through her art.

Her work delves into the intricate relationships between the environment, human health, and advocacy, all while evoking elements of female power, spirituality, nature, and her cultural heritage. A self-taught artist, Adeola’s passion for her craft has only grown stronger over the years.

One of Adeola’s recent projects capturing the essence of her advocacy is the mosaic mural titled “The RISE!”. Collaborating with a group of fellow artists, they created 33 portraits of influential African Americans who have left an indelible mark on the Black community. This striking mural pays homage to luminaries such as Maya Angelou, Rosa Parks, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Amanda Gorman. It serves as a powerful testament to the resilience and spirit of the Black community throughout history.

The mural can be viewed on the corner of Market Street and 9th Street in Downtown Riverside.

Adeola’s commitment to her community goes beyond her art and extends to addressing pressing issues like the disparity in women’s menopausal health. Recognizing that the lack of educational information about menopause was leading to reactive rather than proactive behavior among women, Adeola’s personal journey of understanding menopause for over a decade inspired her to launch the Menopause Project.

The Menopause Project seeks to fill the void in knowledge and support surrounding menopause, particularly in underserved communities of color in San Bernardino and Riverside. It provides residents, regardless of gender, with education and information about menopause, empowering them to navigate this natural transition more proactively.

This project encompasses various facets, including public health, social justice, civic engagement, cultural and visual arts, and literary arts. Through workshops, personal narratives, and artistic expression, this initiative aims to raise awareness, foster dialogue, and ultimately bridge the knowledge gap surrounding menopause.

Adeola’s strategy to engage the community is inclusive and thoughtful, with accessible materials, multimedia components, and grassroots efforts. She is dedicated to reaching diverse audiences, including the LGBTQIA+ and disability populations, and is actively collaborating with local colleges and universities to expand participation and support.

Adeola’s partnerships and relationships within the community play a pivotal role in the success of the Menopause Project. Collaborations with organizations like the Delta Rho Sorority in San Bernardino and Good News Hope and Help Incorporated have allowed her to conduct seminars and immersive art workshops, furthering the reach and impact of her initiative. Additionally, the Riverside University Health System-Public Health department is enthusiastic about incorporating Adeola’s vision into their health programs, reinforcing the project’s potential to benefit Riverside County residents.

Adeola Davies-Aiyeloja is an Inland SoCal Creative Corps grantee, a collaboration between the California Arts Council, the Inland Empire Community Foundation and Arts Connection – The Arts Council of San Bernardino County among others to put artists back to work. The grant made available over $2.8 million dollars for individual artists and collective projects in the region.

As Adeola and other artists  embark on their journey to empower the community through art and education, we invite you to follow the project on social media and follow Adeola for updates on events and activities throughout the grant period. 

Adeola’s work is a beacon of hope, uniting art and social justice to create positive change in the Inland Empire and beyond. Together, we can rise to meet the challenges of our time with creativity, compassion, and a commitment to a more just and informed society.

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