Cleo Barnett is a New Zealand-born and Mexico City-based multi-media artist, public art curator, and creative strategist. Since 2009, Barnett has directed and produced more than 300 public space interventions across five continents. Collaborating with artists, government agencies, non-profit and community-based organizations, philanthropists, educators, and global brands, her public art practice is grounded in community empowerment through public art and mass media experiments. 

Cleo’s private art practice is heavily influenced by her upbringing (her mother and father were both creatives deeply connected to nature) and an ongoing interest in surrealism, mysticism, and alchemy.  Having been introduced to mystic philosophies from a young age and moving between cities and living in nature, Cleo's understanding of the poetics of space and an exploration of alternative states of consciousness is ubiquitous throughout her various artistic creations. 

Barnett is currently the Co-Creative Director of Amplifier, a non-profit design lab that builds media experiments to amplify social movements. Her work has been featured at the Brooklyn Museum, The New York Times, NPR, PBS, CNN, VICE and elsewhere. Cleo holds an M.A. in Art and Public Policy from New York University, and a double B.A. in Political Science and International Business from the University of Auckland. 


Instagram @cleobarnett

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Masters Art and Public Policy
New York University
New York, NY
Class of 2016

Bachelors of Business, International Business
Auckland University
Auckland, New Zealand
Class of 2013
Bachelors of Arts, Political Science 


Come to Your Senses, Ancient Future Labs, Mexico City, February 2023

For The Love of Greece, Co-Curator + Creative Strategist, Greece, Summer 2021 - Current

Sanctuary: Design For Belonging, Co-Curator, American Institute of Architects, Seattle, December 2018 - February 2019

Hear Our Voice, Curator, traveling exhibition: Los Angeles, Seattle, Asheville, Detroit, New York, 2017

OUROBOROS: Reclaim public space!, Curator, Superchief Gallery Brooklyn, Brooklyn, New York, November 2016

Waterfront Auckland, Curator, Summer Program Placemaker, Auckland, New Zealand, August 2012 - March 2017

nowHERE, Curator, LoveCityLove, Seattle, Washington, August 2015

All Fresco Street Art Festival, Co-Founder + Curator, Auckland, New Zealand, May 2013 - April 2015

Conversations in Mind, Curator, Waterfront Auckland, New Zealand, February - March 2013

First Thursdays Festival, Founder and Creative Director, Newton, Auckland, New Zealand, December 2009 - December 2012

Art Week Auckland, Producer, Founding Team Member, City Wide Event, Auckland, New Zealand, October 2010 - 2012


European Liberal Forum Academy, Speaker, East and South East Europe, hosted by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, 2022

Unity for Humanity Summit, Speaker, Global, 2022

Transform Art Into Action, Speaker, Global, 2021

Decentralized Art Is Powering Movements, Speaker, Unfinished Live, New York, 2021

Drawing The Line, Moderator, Seattle Print Arts, March - July 2021 

Turning up Marginalized Voices with Activist Art, Digital Feature, 2021

Seen and Heard: Advice on Making Posters, Broadsides, and Zines, Editorial, Kickstarter, June 2020

Celebrate 100 Years of Trailblazing, Speaker, KCTS9, International, June 2020

Shift Culture! Artivism & Campaign Design, Workshop Facilitator, Actors of Urban Change, Berlin, Germany, October 2019

Realizing Democracy, Speaker, Ford Foundation, New York, New York, September 2019

Inventing Our Future, Plenary Speaker, Alameda County Office of Education, Oakland, California, June 2019

Responding to the Cries of the World, Guest Blog Post, Design in Public, May 2019

How to Amplify Grassroots Movements, Presenter, Arts Leadership Conference, Seattle University, Seattle, February 2019

Artists Now!, Guest Lecture Series, University of Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, January 2019

The Art of Persuasion, Presenter, Mohai Museum, Seattle, January 2019 

Change Makers Conference, Keynote Speaker, Hubweek, Boston, October 2018

Seattle Design Festival 2018 Private Launch, Presenter, American Institute of Architects, Seattle, Washington, August 2018

Shifting Culture Through Art, Panel Moderator, Amplifier Art Lab, Seattle, Washington, June 2018. 

Creative Resistance: Creatives Using their Unique Platform for Change, Panelist, FORM Festival, Acrosanti, Arizona, May 2018

The Brooklyn Conference: Inspiring Social Change, Presenter, Brooklyn Museum, New York, October 2017

Olympic Sculpture Park Tour, Presenter, SAM REMIX, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA, August 2017

Discussing Empowerment Through the Visual Arts, Presenter, Asheville, NC, June 2017

West Hollywood Women's Leadership Conference, Presenter, Los Angeles, CA, May 2017

Art x Advocacy, Presenter Panel Discussion, Washington, DC, April 2017

Hear Our Voice Pannel Discussion on Art and Activist, Panelist, CoCA Seattle, February 2017

New York University, Panelist, Art and Public Policy Department Public Talk, December 2016


RUN screening, Northwest Film Forum Local Sightings Film Festival, Seattle, Washington, 2021

Give Yourself Heaven screening, Northwest Film Forum Local Shortiez, Seattle, Washington, 2021

DEPRESSION: ANTIDOTE Screening,  Langston Hughes, Seattle Black Film Festival, Seattle, Washington, 2021

DEPRESSION: ANTIDOTE Screening & Talkback, NW Film Forum, Seattle, Washington, 2021

PROPHETIC: Trap Healed screening, FADER FORT 2.0 online event, 2020 


Placemaking Leadership Council, November 2015 - Current

The Loisaida Center Fellowship, Researcher and Artist Residency, New York, New York, April - June 2016

New York University Research Fellowship, New York, New York, Summer of 2016

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