We had the good fortune of connecting with Aaron Stouffer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Aaron, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I was born and raised in a the small town of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, about 160 miles west of Philadelphia. My parents were both descendants of hardworking farming families and it was the only environment I knew. At a young age, I was eager for a job to pocket some spending cash. Summers were filled with mowing neighborhood lawns and helping relatives bail hay for their livestock throughout the coming winter months. At 15, I landed a job at a local fast food restaurant to which I began receiving my first actual paycheck. I knew at a young age that I wanted a career in design and architecture and at age 18, despite family disapproval, I packed up my car and ventured west to Ohio for my freshman year of college at Kent State University. A brand new world, full of obstacles and the drive to prove that I was in fact college material and it was the time to succeed. Despite spending countless all-nighters in the design studio, I maintained a part time restaurant job to pay for rent and school supplies. After graduating on the Dean’s List with a Master of Architecture degree in 2011, I moved further west – this time to Arizona. I took a position with a local architecture firm, in Tempe Arizona, but soon realized I needed to supplement my income in order to repay those college loans! Back to the restaurant industry it was for night and weekend positions, until I began creating artwork of iconic Phoenix Mid-Century Modern architecture. My parents instilled in me that you have to work hard for what you want, find creative ways to stretch the dollar, and always be honest. The need to do more, help more, and grow more continues to drive me today.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I fully believe in a personal connection with art. A unique aspect of my style is the nostalgic quality that each work possesses. Whether it be someone’s personal home, a business, or an example of post-war architecture, the community has an intimate relationship with the art. I love being able to take an old photo of a childhood home, or bygone movie theatre where a couple had their first date and create a renewed lively image to enjoy once again. I think it’s great when you can bring your memories back to life.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
For the People for the best in modern home decor
St Francis For a great dinner
Sazerac for a classic cocktail
Paradise Gardens neighborhood for a biking tour of celebrated Al Beadle homes
Bikini Lounge for a tiki cocktail
Federal Pizza for a slice in a Mid-Century Modern bank
Hannys for a late night martini
Honor Amongst Thieves for a classic cocktail
Taliesin West for a look into Frank Lloyd Wright’s legacy
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Hands down, I could not do it without my friends Tom, Scott, and Jessica – if you see them, say hi! They have been huge cheerleaders throughout my growth of Post & Beam and volunteer their time at local, and sometimes not so local, art shows. Chad and Shawn with For the People in central Phoenix deserve a huge shoutout for taking a chance on me. I took a class in college taught by Professor Viera that really introduced me to the design aesthetic of Mid-Century Modern in the Cleveland metro region. Soon after moving to Phoenix and visiting Palm Springs, California, I noticed the artwork of SHAG, Nat Reed, Jon Arvizu and Jason Hill that focused on iconic architectural works with retro and vibrant color palettes, exuding inspiration for me. I also have to thank Phoenix Home and Garden, San Diego Home and Garden, Elevate AZ and VoyagePhoenix for their willingness to include me in their articles!