21 Under 31 | Tessa Mecham

Utah

Born: Salt Lake City, UT, 1977.

First artwork: “I’ve drawn since I was a young child and could hold a crayon.”

First art sale: A painting depicting a long hallway at the Louvre filled with people. “I sold it at a Women’s Week show at the university gallery in 2000.”

Art education: Bachelor of fine arts from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City.

Style of work: Moving toward abstract realism.

Favorite subject to paint: Figurative work.

Favorite artists: Alessandro Papetti, Anne Gayle, and Quang Ho. Favorite artwork: “My favorite right now is Afternoon Romance by Bye Bitney, which my boyfriend gave me for Christmas.”

Creative spark: “Traveling really motivates me a lot. I like to paint large structures, and we don’t have a lot of those in Salt Lake. Great works of architecture motivate me.”

Second-choice career: Something in the travel industry.

Other passions: “My two dogs, Rosie and Buddy. They are always with me.”

Fantasy art trip: “I went to Paris last month, and I want to return there.”

Favorite studio music: Bjork, Ben Folds Five, and hip hop. “I like things with a good beat to work by.”

Price range: $1,800 to $3,200. Galleries: Coda Gallery, Palm Desert, CA, Park City, UT, and New York, NY.

Featured in our annual “21 Under 31″ feature in September 2002