Ray Mead was born in England in 1921 to a middle class family that encouraged his artistic development from an early age exposing him to the European Masters at the Tate, the National Gallery and Victoria and Albert Museum. At age 15, he began formal training at the Slade School of Art until the outbreak of the Second World War. In 1939 he Joined the Royal Airforce as a fighter Pilot. Having suffered a crash in 1941, he was reposted to finish the war in Hamilton Ontario, where his job was to train American fighter pilots.
Through out the later parts of the war, Mead travelled extensively to New York and was heavily influenced by the American Abstractionists. Deciding to stay in Hamilton he met Hortense Gordon, who mentored mead in Abstraction. In 1948 and 1950 he had solo shows at the AGH and The AGO. In 1950 he joined the Ontario Society of Artists, showing with fellow Canadian abstractionists until 1953 where 7 of them joined what would later be called the Painters 11. He was part of the first Painters 11 show at Simpsons and Part of the first international show at Riverside New York in 1956. Ray Meads work is held in 19 public museums in Canada and many private and corporate collections. Ray Mead passed away in 1998.