Art Q&A: Sculptors Aaron Stephan and Lauren Fensterstock keep their heads down on long-term projects

Portland Press Herald

It will be a while before the Portland couple knows how the shutdown will affect their livelihood.

If you viewed them side by side, you’d be hard pressed to find similarities between the sculptures of Lauren Fensterstock and Aaron T Stephan. But while the Portland-based couple may have strikingly different artistic practices and styles, they overlap in their broader conceptual themes. Fensterstock’s darkly dramatic, mixed-media works primarily explore humanity’s relationship to, and manipulation of, the natural landscape through gardens. Stephan’s playful public commissions and sculptures often act as wry commentaries on the manmade worlds of art, architecture and mundane objects.


Although both work on a large scale, Fensterstock and Stephan, both 45, have kept their own footprint small, to better weather the financial uncertainties of their occupation. With projects that take years to plan and execute, the impact of the pandemic on their current commissions may not be known for some time. Working so far into the future, however, keeps them thinking ahead amid the stasis of a shutdown, the act of art-making also one of optimism.

May 31, 2020