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Vans Awards $50,000 to Custom Culture Competition Winner

Vans chose Parker High School from Parker, South Dakota, as the grand prize winner of the 8th edition Vans Custom Culture art competition, awarding the school with $50,000 towards its arts education program.

The competition challenges students to design four pairs of blank canvas Vans shoes that show Vans “off the wall” lifestyle: action sports, art, music and local flavor. The contestants featured artwork painted or drawn onto the canvas shoe, while others designed more functional ideas like lace-up knee-boots with paintbrush holders.

Vans hosted the top five final high schools on a trip to Los Angeles for a week-long celebration, with the final event being held June 7 in downtown L.A. The judges consisted of creative consultant and designer Jayne Min, pro-surfer Leila Hurst, pro-skater Lizzie Armanto, Vans Director of Footwear Color and Trend Rian Pozzebon and special musical guest Daya. The acclaimed judges chose the winning design based on overall creativity and relevance to the theme and execution.

“Vans is proud to be a driving force for students to express their creativity through art and design,” said Doug Palladini, Vans global president. “We’re honored that Vans Custom Culture has become a foundational platform of our brand that enables high school students to become the next generation of creative individuals.”

Laguna College of Art + Design (LCAD), Americans for the Arts, Blick Materials and Journeys all partnered with Vans for the program.