Laura Stedenfeld is an artist and landscape architect, trained at Parsons, The New School of Design. With an affinity toward urban landscapes, she designed and built her first public park in New York City by the age of twenty-five. Laura’s work focuses on relational public space, especially for arts-based works. Each work is thoughtfully crafted to reveal the sublime, creating everyday spaces that are tangible, beautiful, and relatable. Such projects include the City Center Lehigh Valley Art & Nature Landscape Framework Plan, a city-wide urban framework for Allentown, PA; as well as five subsequent built phases of the Allentown ArtsWalk. Laura led efforts for the prestigious master plan of Newfields (formerly the Indianapolis Museum of Art) as well as the Bromo Arts & Entertainment District Vision Plan in Baltimore, MD. She was a founding member of Land Collective, and worked previously at Olin, Thomas Balsley Associates (now SWA/Balsley), Ohlhausen Dubois, as well as Columbia University Graduate School of Planning & Preservation.
Laura’s practice as an artist is rooted in exploration of unseen, and often destructive, impacts of human settlement and implications upon individual experience. This exploration interplays with her professional career as a landscape architect: critiquing some of the prevailing ideas at the heart of the discipline while responding to a long held fascination with human settlement and the manipulation of landscapes. In her paintings and drawings, “dots” are devices of both centering meditation and invasive confrontation. Trespassing in existing landscapes and forming territories unto themselves in abstract fields, they are playful anti-matter in environments controlled by the rules of a kind of cartoon gravity. Through occupation and abstraction, Laura uses dots to convey impacts of pollution and invasion, interdependence, and speed and violence.