Born in Kansas, Mary Joan Waid moved to New York City after she graduated from Wichita State University with a degree in fine arts.

Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums across the United States as well as Germany, Switzerland and Japan. She was awarded numerous art colony residencies at Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, NY and MacDowell in Peterborough, NH. 

She has paintings in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Minneapolis Museum of Art, Wichita Art Museum and the National Academy of Design in New York City, as well as in private collections across the United States. Her work can be seen at Atrium Gallery in St. Louis, Missouri.

She currently lives and works in New York City and Vermont.