Jo Hay was born in England and earned a degree in Graphic Design from Middlesex University. She was a fashion magazine art director in New York City before painting at The Art Students League of New York.
Hay moved to Provincetown to focus on her painting development and has since had five solo exhibitions. In 2010 she was awarded the Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed Foundation Grant from PAAM and in 2011 she received the New York Academy of Art Masters program portrait scholarship. She graduated from the Academy in 2012 and was chosen by Madonna in a live Tumblr online curation in 2013. Represented by the Lionheart Gallery in Pound Ridge, NY and the Jo Hay Open Studio gallery in Provincetown, she teaches drawing and painting at the Museum School at PAAM.