Board News

Remembering John Michael Gray

Dear MAEA Members,

It is with a heavy heart that I write to you this afternoon regarding the unfortunate passing of John Michael Gray.

As the founding father and committed member of MAEA for approximately 40 years, John Michael certainly wore many hats serving tirelessly as Treasurer, President, Conference Coordinator, and Exhibitions Director.

With his long time partner and husband, Timothy O’Connor, the “Hat Sisters” have made a substantial and lasting impact on the art education and LGBTQ community across the state. Their dedication to advocating on behalf of art education is truly unmatched.

For those of us who have been working with John Michael on the Board and through various projects over the years, we will certainly miss his positive, upbeat personality and wonderful calming demeanor. As our unofficial MAEA historian, we valued his insight, advice and guidance in all Board activities. Among his many legacies, John Michael and Tim O’Connor co-directed the Scholastic Art Awards celebrating the creative achievements of our students and provided professional development for our educators through directing the New England Art Education Conference for many years.

As we receive additional information regarding the arrangements and services we will be sure to forward along. If you have the means, please consider donating to the GoFundMe page set up by a family friend to assist with medical expenses – click here.

We are still planning to complete the book for both Tim and John Michael and will present it to Tim at an appropriate time. If you would like to submit a page for the book the deadline for receiving artwork has been extended to October 20. We have many ideas as to how we can best honor John Michael’s memory and commemorate the founding father of MAEA. If you have any ideas, please let us know as we are committed to honoring both John Michael and Tim in the future.

Our most sincere and heartfelt sympathies to his husband Timothy O’Connor and family.

With deep sympathy,

Kristi Oliver
MAEA President, on behalf of the MAEA Board of Directors

October 2, 2016

Boston Globe | John Michael Gray, 66, former arts teacher and half of ‘Hat Sisters’

The Boston Globe article on John Michael Gray – click here

September 28, 2016

The Subject Was Hats

Article written by Victory Programs President & CEO Jonathan Scott in remembrance of John Michael Gray – click here.



October 3, 2016

Two Tributes Planned to Honor John Michael Gray

For those who would like to attend, there will be two tributes:

  • October 11 in Provincetown at St Peter’s Church at 1:00 p.m.
  • October 16 in Boston at the Arlington Street Church at 1:30 p.m.

October 2, 2016

Celebration of Hat Sister John Michael Gray

Please join us in benefiting & celebrating the life of Hat Sister John Michael Gray. Boston Drag Entertainers will be performing in his memory. All money raised from cover charge & performers tips will be donated to Go Fund Me account to pay medical expenses. Please wear your best hat in his honor!!!

Link to facebook event – click here.

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