Student art featured at South Florida Fair

The South Florida Fair returned to West Palm Beach on Jan. 14 and will last until Jan. 30 at the South Florida Fairgrounds. A festive event filled with shows, games, animals, rides and food, the South Florida Fair also features student art.

The theme of this year’s fair is “Rockin’ Robots,” showcasing activities like interacting with larger-than-life robots, watching and participating in robot fight battles and learning more about robotics in agriculture, manufacturing, education and science.

This year’s art exhibit at the fair also revolves around the Rockin’ Robots’ theme, spotlighting artwork created by three Jupiter High students: Jaden Burke, freshman, Martyna Buffenmyer, junior, and Abigail Schaefer, junior.

Sarah Knudtson, who teaches AICE Digital Media and Design and AP 2D Design and Drawing at Jupiter High, alerted the students to the possibility of being showcased at the South Florida Fair. After finding out about the art exhibit through Palm Beach County Art Teachers Association (PBCATA), Knudtson gave her students the chance to both create art to be entered into the exhibit and to earn extra credit, seeing it as a great opportunity for her students to grow as artists.

“I think any opportunity for student artists to expand their resumes and gain exposure is really good.” Knudtson said.

After finding out about the art exhibit, the students each created drawings and paintings of robots and rock and roll, and sometimes even a fun combination of the two. Buffenmyer, one of the students who entered their work in the exhibit, enjoyed working with the prompt and immediately began to think of fun and creative ways she could properly represent it through art.

“I thought of the prompt, and the first thing that I thought of when I saw the word rockin’ was dancing,” Buffenmyer said. “So, I made robots dance at a party and one of the robots stood awkwardly in the center with the spotlight on them.”

This art exhibit is the first time Buffenmyer has had any of her artwork featured, and she’s excited about the opportunity, viewing the entire experience as something that “helps artists grow.”

Buffenmyer wasn’t the only artist who was excited to have her work spotlighted. Both Schaefer and Burke were excited about the prospect of so many people seeing their paintings. Schaefer even plans on going to the fair herself, not only to play games and ride attractions, but to see the exhibit.

“Obviously, I go to the fair every year,” Schaefer said. “It’s always a fun thing to do, especially now.”

Burke also couldn’t wait for her and her peers’ works to be showcased at the fair, and similar to Buffenmyer and Schaefer, she was thrilled about the experience, especially since it is a big event and well known in South Fla.

“It’s a big event. It’s cool to have art up,” Burke said.

Having their artwork displayed in the exhibit is a very big honor for all of the students involved, and overall, the experience has allowed Buffenmyer, Burke and Schaefer to have the opportunity to get recognized for their talent and hard work, not only by our own students and staff, but also by all of the people who go to the fair and visit the exhibit.

For those who end up going to the South Florida Fair before it ends this month, make sure to visit the art exhibit and check out the student art exhibit. For more information, visit