Stephanie Garon received dual science degrees from Cornell University, then attended Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Her environmental art has been exhibited internationally in London, Colombia, and South Korea, as well as across the United States. Her writing, a critical aspect of her artistic process, has been published in international literary journals. She teaches at MICA.
As a five year Stephanie tagged along with her father to "hamfests,” radio operator gatherings held in county fair parking lots. Cars would pop open their trunks like overflowing treasure chests filled with electronic wares: old radio boxes, computer boards, cables, monitors, soldering irons. It was an oasis in the heart of wooded valleys. Her father would sell or trade items he no longer needed. Her job was to display them on a tattered blanket and haggle to make the sale. The setup became her stage as she pranced about, reorganizing after each barter session. In her mind's eye, they were a traveling show and Stephanie was the star with dirty nails, pigtails, and suspenders. Years later, when she finds herself welding and smelling the rusty steel odor of the studio, she is driving down those dusty roads again. Her work explores the limits of nature and connection through juxtaposing industrial elements with natural materials she collects. The decomposition of the natural forms provide drama and philosophic markers of fragility: green pine needles fade to brown, cement made from melted snow crumbles, and wind switches orientation of metal sculpture around trees. Rich in associations, the work functions as abstracted expressions of a time, place, and way of life that capture paradoxes: formalism and fragility, permanence and impermanence, and nature and nurture.
Her work invites the viewer to contemplate how we, as people, build structures and interact with the natural world around us. Like the items, she would curate at the hamfests, her art embraces the delicacy of juxtaposing and experimenting with transforming materials to define her visual voice.