Cleo Barnett was born in Papamoa, New Zealand and is currently based between Auckland, New Zealand; Brooklyn, New York, Seattle, Washington and the Internet. Barnett is a curator, producer, artist and scholar who uses experientail design and lens based mediums to explore and unveil the world around her. Her process starts with research, her surroundings, and a human centered design approach to explore methods of exposure and the poetics of space. 

In March 2016 Cleo was awarded the The Loisaida Inc., Center Fellowship, where she worked as a researcher and artist in residence. In May 2016 Cleo was awarded the Post-Graduate Summer Research Fellowship from New York University, where she continued to write her book that investigated the use of outdoor advertising in urban spaces.

Since 2009 Cleo's work has served as a catalyst for space creation, collaborative cultural production, city wide art festivals, socially engaged exhibitions, and public art programs including First Thursdays, Art Week Auckland and All Fresco in Auckland, New Zealand, as well as an emerging career throughout the United States and internationally. She has demonstrated high levels of competency navigating between private and public sectors, producing city wide campaigns within the fields of art, culture, music and politics.

Cleo graduated from New York Universities Tisch School of the Arts with a masters in Art and Public Policy in May 2016. She earned her undergraduate degrees ffrom the University of Auckland in 2013, double majoring in Political Science and International Business. Today she continues to work as a freelance producer, curator and creative consultant in New Zealand and across the United States.




Wāhine – Women - Depot Artspace Book Publication, May 2015

Cross Street - Collectif Magazine Editorial Shoot, May 2015

Kingbrown Magazine - Writer, 2012, 2013, 2014 

The Vernacularist - Issue Two, True Community?, Depot Artspace Publication 2014

The Lost Springs - Collectif Magazine,  May 2014

Miss June - Presence Magazine, Editorial Shoot,  June 2014

First Thursdays Festival on K’Road – TVNZ Breakfast Show Interview, 2013

Style File – Groove Guide Feature, 2013

Presence Issue 11, Editorial Photographer, New Zealand, November 2012

Neighborhood – TV1 Feature Feature, 2012

Draw Together – Weekend Leisure Feature, NZ Herald, 2012

A Quick Word – Idealog interview, 2012

Cleo Barnett from First Thursdays Likes – Gather and Hunt Feature, 2012

Little Lotus Project 2011 – Radio Ponsonby Interview, 2011

Giving a little goes a long way – The Big Idea Interview, 2011

Cleo Barnett on the Long Black -  Radio Ponsonby Interview, 2011

Mini-interview: Cleo Barnett – Blukeko Interview, 2011

First Thursdays – Second to none – Thread.co.nz Feature, 2011

What would you save? – NZ Herald Canvas Feature, 2011

Interview for First Thursdays – Radio NZ Interview, 2010

Cleo Barnett’s favourite things - NZ Herald Viva Feature, 2010

The First Thursdays, Then What? – Morph Magazine Article, 2010

Arcade Art Fair a First For Business Graduate – Stuff.co.nz Feature, 2009

Radio New Zealand Interview – 2009

Thursday Girl – Remix Magazine, 2009

Featured image captured by Sacha Stejko.