Tessa Greene O'Brien


MFA Alumni

Major: Painting

Graduation Year: 2016

Artist Statement:

"In her most recent body of work, Tessa Greene O’Brien explores the breakdown of recognizable forms as a reaction to the current socio-political climate. Beginning with elements from architecture and the built environment, the artist obscures these grounding structures with chaotic, churning atmospheres. Her paintings provide us with fleeting glimpses of specific sites that have been flattened by the pressures of color and texture into a layer of complex density. The forms can no longer uphold a logical sense of space or place, and reality is rendered into abstraction." Anne Marie Purkey Levine, 2017


O’Brien is a mid-coast Maine native, and received her B.S. in Fine Art from Skidmore College and her MFA from Maine College of Art. She has exhibited her work at Able Baker Contemporary and MECA in Portland, the Firehouse Center in Damariscotta, and has an upcoming show at Barba Contemporary Art in Palm Springs, CA. The artist recently won the Joseph A. Fiore Painting Prize, and has completed residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, Hewnoaks Artist Colony, and Stephen Pace House. O’Brien is co-founder of the Portland Mural Initiative, a public art project pairing contemporary painters with wall-painting opportunities around the state.