Peter “Souleo” Wright has been hailed as an “Icon of Harlem” (Ruth Millington, art historian and author of Muse) and “Harlem’s Heart & Soul” (NY Daily News). An acclaimed creative, curator, impresario, consultant, and muse he seamlessly merges the worlds of art, fashion, literature, media, and music to document and amplify the stories of the emerging and underrepresented via exhibitions, events, and writing.
This Brown University graduate began his career in media as a popular DJ at the historic 95.5 WBRU as one of the hosts of Southern New England’s #1 weekly show, The 360 Degree Black Experience in Sound. Shortly thereafter Souleo’s list of journalism credits grew to include NBC, Newsweek, New York Daily News, EBONY, JET magazine, New York Press, Black Enterprise and more. Souleo’s list of exclusives include Dr. Donda West’s—mother of Kanye West—final interview before her untimely passing published in Sister 2 Sister Magazine and a rare interview with Don Cornelius, the father of Soul Train. With his track record of securing exclusives Souleo’s expertise and content has been featured on TV One’s Life After, CNN’s The Nancy Grace Show, MTV’s FNMTV Premieres, Access Hollywood and The Insider, and in the New York Times, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Boston Globe, and BET.com.
Souleo was also the creator and writer of the weekly arts and culture online column, On the ‘A’ w/Souleo which was syndicated from 2011-2017 across several media properties including Huffington Post, EBONY.com, SoulTrain.com, New York Amsterdam News, Harlem World Magazine, and Rolling Out.
As a curator of exhibitions and public programs, Souleo has collaborated with noteworthy institutions and brands including Nordstrom, Columbia University, New York Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Museum of Arts and Design, and AARP. His notable projects include legendary department store Nordstrom’s first-ever exhibition Styling: Black Expression, Rebellion, and Joy Through Fashion; the visual art debut of film icon Melvin Van Peebles in eMerge 2.0: Melvin Van Peebles and Artists on the Cusp; a spotlight on the unsung Harlem Institute of Fashion’s runway shows in Showing Out: Fashion in Harlem; and i found god in myself: a celebration of Dr. Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls… The latter exhibition has toured nationally to the African American Museums in Philadelphia, Houston, and Detroit. In 2017, Souleo successfully completed his most ambitious multi-gallery collaborative project to date by curating 7 satellite shows as part of the Uptown triennial, presented by the Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University. The satellite venues included the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, City College, and Harlem School of the Arts. One of the most popular satellite exhibitions, Betty Blayton (a posthumous tribute to the Studio Museum in Harlem co-founder) was hailed by the New Yorker magazine as “stunning.” Souleo’s work has also been widely covered in outlets including the Associated Press, NY Times, New York Magazine/The Cut, and ESSENCE.
Souleo previously served as Manager of Public Programs at the Newark Museum of Art where he curated the Museum’s two flagship public programs, Second Sundays and Late Thursdays. During his tenure the latter was featured in USA Today as one of the top events in Newark, NJ.
Extending his reach within the art world, Souleo has served as a muse for visual artists such as Beau McCall, Kehinde Wiley and Renee Cox. His portraits have been included in exhibitions at prestigious institutions such as the Brooklyn Museum and in the permanent collection of the Phoenix Art Museum. In 2022, author Ruth Millington profiled Souleo and declared him as an “Icon of Harlem” in her book Muse: Uncovering the Hidden Figures Behind Art History’s Masterpieces, published by Simon & Schuster.
The fashion world has also taken notice of Souleo with frequent appearances in the style/photo sections of the NY Times, Patrick McMullan Company, Yahoo!, and the Village Voice. He has also been commissioned to share his perspective on historic and contemporary fashion topics via programs by the Brooklyn Public Library and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
As a consultant he has helped amplify the legacy of visual artists including, McCall and Dianne Smith, by securing their works and papers in the permanent collections of institutions such as Museum of Arts and Design, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Victoria and Albert Museum, The Museum at FIT, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Barnard College, and National Museum of Women in the Arts. In addition, his umbrella company Souleo Enterprises, LLC has partnered with such companies as Jimmy Jazz and Food for Life Supreme to create internship opportunities for disadvantaged community members.
Souleo recently served as guest editor of McCall’s debut artists’ book titled, REWIND: MEMORIES ON REPEAT, commissioned and published by SHINE Portrait Studio@ Express Newark, Rutgers University-Newark. The book is in the permanent collections of Amistad Research Center, The Museum of Modern Art Library, Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, Stonewall National Museum & Archives, and The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Library.
In 2024, Souleo will curate McCall’s first-ever retrospective exhibition titled, Beau McCall: Buttons On! at Fuller Craft Museum.
Souleo, a New York City native, currently lives and works in Harlem, NYC.
Wednesday, September 6, 2023
at 12 PM PST / 3 PM EST
Meet the muses for Kehinde Wiley including Ndey Buri & Babacar Mane. Plus art historian, Ruth Millington. Moderated by guest curator, Souleo.