Art students compete in VANS design competition


When students are given the opportunity to design a shoe representing their state and high school, young artists embraced their competitiveness. Add in a grand prize of 50 thousand dollars and a scholarship, and you’re guaranteed to have hundreds of amazing artists coming together to compete.

VANS is challenging high schools all over America to participate in the VANS Custom Culture competition. Students are to choose one of four shoe templates, then design and decorate it according to only a few vague guidelines.

“It doesn’t have to be wearable, but it has to promote music, skating and the place that you’re from,” sophomore Teresa Childers said.

Any type of material is available to use for your design, and it can be incorporated anywhere on the shoe as long as it stays attached.

“I chose the standard authentic VANS shoe,” sophomore Elayna Blair said about her own shoe design. “I’m not sure what design I’m doing yet but I’m definitely incorporating piano because I love to play as well as graffiti art because I feel that would look the best.”

The shoes are mostly presented to a high school audience of students ranging in age from fifteen to eighteen.

“…We could also get up to fifteen thousand dollars for the art department alone,” art teacher Meghan Harrison said. “That would bring in a lot of extra money that we could always use to bring and put back into the school to help for our art department and really help it grow.”

If enough students participate, VANS will donate shoes to reproduce the student’s design, which will go into the school’s showcase. The print-out template goes to the competition to be judged.

“I think we have some very creative students just hearing some of the brainstorming ideas,” Harrison said. “We have some ideas to take out shoelaces and add different things. Like, take out shoe laces and add different things that you might see in people’s ranch fencing.”

The final contestants are given a free trip to fly up to California with their art teacher for the last competition.

“I think being from Austin, we have a unique perspective,” Harrison said about our chances of winning the grand prize. “[Students at GHS] have all grown up accepting weird and being able to celebrate that. (I came from) a different state that didn’t have the opportunity to see all the culture, music and art that everybody else did, so I think we have a leg up. I’m excited to see what everyone comes up with.”