Cleo Wade is an artist, poet, and author of the book “Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom For a Better Life.” She creates uplifting messages, blending simplicity with positivity and arresting honesty. Her writing, accessible yet empowering, speaks to a greater future for all women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community, preaching love, acceptance, justice, peace, equity, and equality.
Cleo’s artwork is founded on the idea that art should not only be in the name of all people, but should serve all people. This idea has inspired 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,” created in collaboration with graffiti artist Brandon Odums, which is permanently installed on the face of a 50-foot warehouse building in the 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 of 10-word mantras on 46-foot screens titled “Show Love Spread Love” is currently on view in Los Angeles on the facade of the Beverly Center. Other mediums of Cleo's art include drawing, painting, sculpture, neon text, and her recent dishware collaboration with Fishs Eddy that is currently available in stores and online.
Cleo contributes regularly to W Magazine, Teen Vogue and has been invited to speak at TED Women, 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, and the Semi Permanent conference in New Zealand. Cleo sits on the board of the National Black Theater in Harlem and the Creative Council of Emily’s List. She has been named one of America’s 50 Most Influential Women by Marie Claire, 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company, and “The Millennial Oprah” by New York magazine, as well as featured in The New York Times, Vogue, Essence, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Vogue Italia, New York Magazine, Refinery 29, W Magazine, Glamour, and People Magazine.