Tessa Greene O’Brien was born in mid-coast Maine in 1982, and returned to Maine in 2004, after spending time in Vermont, Oregon, and upstate New York. She graduated from Skidmore College with a B.S. in Fine Art, and recently received her MFA from Maine College of Art. O'Brien and her husband manage a studio collective called Base Camp Studios, co-founded the Portland Mural Initiative, a public art project pairing contemporary painters with wall painting opportunities around the state. She also co-owns and paints for Better Letter Hand Painted Signs.
Tessa has a creative pratice that consists of three parallel pursuits, studio painting, public art, and curation. There are frequent overlaps between all three, but each involves serparate core quesitons and intentions. As a studio painter, she paints from observations and invents color, takes liberties with space, and leans into the materiality of paint. When designing and painting murals, Tessa invites the site, the community, & her collaborators to be involved in the process. Tessa thinks of murals as billboards for joy. As a curator/artist administrator, she often utilizes her knowledge of art history and understanding of contemporary art in conjunction with her understanding of the social needs of a community to organize and present relevant and engaging shows and events.