First Friday: Tricia Opstad

June/July First Friday Artist

Opening June 1st from 6-8pm at the Downtown Dance Collective

Tricia Opstad is an artist from Grand Forks, North Dakota. She presently calls Missoula, Montana home. She is here to be close to nature, spending much time hiking in the nearby forests with her husband, Josh and their Pug, Lucky. She has a 15-year-old cat named Lulu. Tricia is a speech-language pathologist, aspiring writer/poet, friend, sister, daughter, and human in awe of this messy life.

Artist Statement

When painting on canvas, I take a similar approach to my work as a dance improvisation artist. Through large spontaneous gestures carrying brush and paint, my body in concert with canvas, these images grow. Through noticing strong or visceral reactions to texture, viscosity and color, I respond with impulse in the moment to make decisions in each painting session. I encounter both familiar and unfamiliar parts of myself, make decisions to lead or follow, and allow for what I see as ‘beauty’ or for a ‘Clean Mess’ to emerge. I watch myself respond to colors, lines, shapes, texture and relationships among pieces and modify each part accordingly to eventually come to a place where I rest with the image and it no longer asks any more of me.

I have different types of tensions within me of varying degree; I am interested in merging different parts of myself, both clean and messy, with sincere hope to embrace my whole self with whatever may come.