Tessa G. O’Brien makes paintings that reference light, play with architectural space, and revel in color. Combining representation with process-based abstraction, she uses technique & mark-making to impose a narrative upon the structures that she depicts in paint, or paints upon.
O’Brien has shown throughout New England, including a recent solo exhibition at Elizabeth Moss Galleries in Falmouth, ME and an upcoming solo show at Dowling Walsh Gallery in Rockland, ME. She has attended residencies at Monson Arts, Haystack, Vermont Studio Center, Hewnoaks, and Stephen Pace House, and will be an artist in residence at the Studioworks Residency at the Tides Institute in Eastport, Maine in the fall of 2019. She was born in mid-coast Maine in 1982, and returned to Maine in 2004, after spending time in Vermont, Oregon, and upstate New York. O’Brien earned a B.S. in Fine Art from Skidmore College, and received her MFA from Maine College of Art.
In addition to her studio practice, O’Brien has worked in arts administration and public art, managing the painting department of the visual design team at major music festivals for over 10 years. Following this, O'Brien went on to co-found the Portland Mural Initiative with partner Will Sears in 2015, which curated, funded, and oversaw the execution of 7 murals around southern Maine between 2015 and 2017. She founded and managed a studio collective called Base Camp Studies, and currently co-owns a mural & sign painting company called Better Letter Hand Painted Signs.