Cleo Wade is a poet, artist, and speaker that creates empowering messages, blending simplicity with positivity, femininity and arresting honesty. With the belief that art is for all people, Cleo creates large scale public art pieces. In 2015, Cleo installed a 25-foot love poem scaled high above the historic buildings of the New Orleans French Quarter entitled Respect. Her follow up piece entitled She was created in collaboration with graffiti artist Brandon Odums, and is permanently installed on the side of a 50-foot warehouse building in New Orleans Bywater neighborhood.
Cleo is a dedicated advocate of female empowerment, and has spoken at NYU’s "Women on the Move" panel, as well as taught courses in self-love and self expression at Austin’s SXSW. As an activist for gender and race equality, Cleo sits on the Creative Council of Emily’s List and the board of the National Black Theater in Harlem. Cleo champions for children's education and rights, and supports Free Arts, the non profit creating arts programs for New York City’s underserved children, and recently completed a trip with UNICEF exploring the issues of climate change and the children of vulnerable communities in rural Vietnam.
Cleo is a founding member of the female arts collective chez conversations and regular contributor to Harper's Bazaar and Saint Heron. Cleo has been featured in the New York Times, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Teen Vogue, Vogue Italia, New York Magazine, Purple.fr, Refinery 29, Untitled-magazine, W Magazine, V Magazine, and People. She was born and raised in New Orleans and resides in downtown New York City.