Cleo Wade, an outspoken artist, speaker, poet, and the author of a forthcoming book, is an inspiring voice in today's world for gender and race equality. She creates motivating messages, blending simplicity with positivity, femininity and arresting honesty. Her poems, accessible yet empowering, speak to a greater future for all women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community, preaching love, acceptance, justice, and peace.
Cleo contributes regularly to W Magazine, Teen Vogue and is publishing a book of her artwork and writing with 37 INK, an imprint of Simon & Schuster in 2018. A passionate public speaker, Cleo has been invited to speak at New York University, Columbia University, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Essence Music Festival, MLK Now at the Historic Riverside Church in Harlem, Cooper Union, the Semi Permanent conference in New Zealand and Saint Heron’s Roll Back Say That event in New Orleans.
Cleo sits on the board of the National Black Theater in Harlem, the Creative Council of Emily’s List, and was a National Surrogate for Hillary Clintons 2016 Presidential campaign, speaking and appearing on behalf of Hillary. Cleo is also an avid supporter of Planned Parenthood and Free Arts, the non-profit creating arts programs for children from New York City’s underserved communities.
Cleo’s work is founded on the idea that art should not only be in the name of all people, but should serve all people, inspiring some of her larger scale public art installations including a 25-foot love poem in the skyline of the New Orleans French Quarter titled “Respect,” as well as her follow up piece titled “She” that was created in collaboration with graffiti artist Brandon Odums and is permanently installed on the face of a 50-foot warehouse building in New Orleans Bywater neighborhood. In the summer of 2017, Cleo created the “ARE YOU OK” project, a public booth for free peaceful and loving conversation at the Hester Street Fair in New York City.
Her latest public art installation, Show Love Spread Love is currently on view in Los Angeles, California on the facade of the Beverly Center.
Other mediums of Cleo's art include drawing, painting, sculpture, and neon text.
Cleo has collaborated with brands such as Starbucks, Armani, Dior, Jimmy Choo, Coach, BALLY, Zero by Maria Cornejo, Ugg, Farfetch and most recently designed a line of dishware with the female owned Fish’s Eddy, debuting in summer of 2017.
In 2016, Cleo was named one of America’s 50 Most Influential Women on Marie Claire’s New Guard list, and was featured on the cover of New York Magazine’s The Cut in an article titled “Is Cleo Wade the Millennial Oprah?” and in 2017, she was named one of The 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company. She has also been featured by The New York Times, Vogue, Essence, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Teen Vogue, Vogue Italia, New York Magazine, Refinery 29, W Magazine, V Magazine, and People Magazine.
Cleo Wade was born and raised in New Orleans, and resides in New York City.