Boca Raton Airport Pairs Up With Students For Public Art Initiative


Staff report

A fleet of paper mâché planes have touched down at the Boca Raton Aiport.

Thanks to a partnership with Saint Andrew’s School in Boca Raton, the airport is now filled with art in the lobbies of Airport’s two Fixed Base Operators (FBOs) — Atlantic Aviation and Signature Flight Support.

The artwork was delivered by student representatives Sema Thakkar and Colin Rodriguez, as well as Saint Andrew’s School Director of Marketing & Communications Dr. Carlos Barroso and Visual Arts Teacher Mr. Ron Garrett.

“We are very excited to showcase the work of these incredible students,” said Boca Raton Airport Authority (BRAA) Executive Director Clara Bennett. “With these public space galleries set up throughout the Airport grounds, it will be an immersive and community engaging experience for travelers flying in and out of the Airport.”

Paper mâché planes on display include a WWII-era French biplane and a modern American A-10 Warthog, which were made by Sema Thakkar and Colin Rodriguez respectively.

“I love the way it looks. It’s so different than the modern planes we see,” Thakkar said. “The curves of the planes are always so unique, especially in the front, so it’s challenging to create, but Mr. Garrett was very helpful.”

The planes on display represent a range of eras and countries. They also utilize different materials in combination with paper mâché.

Rodriguez said he focused on “not just the plane itself, but the different features on it,” such as weaponry and engines, which he built with chopsticks and glue sticks.

When asked about what he plans to do for a career, Rodriguez — a Civil Air Patrol member — said his “biggest dream is to go to the United States Military Academy,” and that, “I want to be in the military when I get older because I want to do what I can to help this nation.”

The first phase of this community art project has been so successful that the airport is expanding the initiative.

Saint Andrew’s School students delivered an additional gallery installation of paper mâché planes to the new U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facility.

“We’re planning on growing the program to include more students and more schools,” Bennett said. “This is a wonderful opportunity to further engage with the educational community of Boca Raton.”

By expanding the initiative, the program will go beyond paper mâché planes to include aviation-inspired paintings and drawings, as well as arts and crafts from students of all ages from middle school to high school levels.

According to airport officials, the community art project is designed to build a lasting relationship between local students and the airport, which is an investment in the future of aviation, as well as the future of each student who is involved.