Jo Hay is a British painter born in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England in 1964. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Middlesex University, London in 1986 and her MFA in Painting from the New York Academy of Art in 2012.
In 1990 she moved from London to New York City to seek a formal education in figurative painting. She began attending full-time classes at the Art Students League of New York where she developed her portrait painting. While living in the West Village she became aware of the presence of transsexuals, transvestites, and transgendered men and women who congregated there. It was at this time that Hay began to explore the psychological and sexual perception of gender through her work that she continues to the present day.
Hay is currently working on a new series of large scaled heads, continuing her exploration of human sexuality and identity. Her self portrait entitled "Dodger" was a semi-finalist in the 2015 BP Portrait Award.