Kay Angliss was born on a farm in British Columbia. She studied art at the Vancouver School of Art, graduating with honours in 1946. She continued her art studies at the Emma Lake Art School, at the University of Calgary, and the Alberta College of Art. In Alberta, where she moved with her husband the artist George Angliss, she also studied with such artists as Deli Sacilotto, Shane Weare, Andre Stasik, and Carol Summers. She taught at the ACA from 1965 to 1980 and also taught art to children as an instructor at the Allied Art Centre in Calgary from 1960-1974.
Due to financial constraints during the fifties, she often used cast-off materials, including house paint and off cuts from printing houses. Over her career as an artist, she worked with fabric construction, printmaking and painting, and received high praise for her accomplishments in all those media.
Kay Angliss's work has been exhibited extensively across Canada, including in a 1972 solo exhibition of fabric constructions that travelled to thirteen Canadian public galleries. In 1987, she was appointed a Life Member of the Alberta Society of Artists (she first became a member in 1976), and in 1994, was a recipient of the Royal Canadian Academy’s Trust Fund. She is represented in many public and private collections, including those of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Alberta House, London, England, The Kelowna Art Gallery, and the Confederation Art Centre and Museum, Charlottetown, PEI.
Kay Angliss and her husband returned to British Columbia in 1989 upon George Arliss's retirement from his teaching position at ACA. Both continued actively making art and exhibiting, sometimes together and occasionally with their three daughters, also artists.