Art Students Nationwide Create Custom Shoe Designs to Raise Awareness for Arts Education and Compete to Win $50,000 for Their Art Program

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

CYPRESS, California – Vans invites high school art students throughout the country to join in the eighth annual Vans Custom Culture art competition to embrace youth creativity and support arts education. Starting today, high school art teachers can register their classes to compete for the grand prize of $50,000 towards their art program by creating their most artistic and inventive designs using blank Vans shoes as their canvas. 
The Vans Custom Culture competition is intended to inspire high school students to express their creativity through art and design, and to raise awareness for the country’s diminishing arts programs. Vans Custom Culture has grown since its inception in 2010 from just 326 schools participating in the first year, to an expected 3,000 schools representing all 50 states in 2017. In seven years, Vans Custom Culture has empowered hundreds of thousands of U.S. art students and has donated more than $745,000 to high school art programs and art education.
“We're amazed at the talent we’ve seen in student submissions through the years," said Kelly Murnaghan, Senior Director of Consumer Marketing, North America. “It's an honor to have the Vans Custom Culture competition enter its eighth year, and for us to be able to continue empowering originality and innovation within youth culture.” 
Starting today and running through February 10 at 5 pm PT, high school art teachers can register their students for the 2017 competition at the Vans Custom Culture website. Students will be provided with four pairs of blank Vans shoes, which they will reimagine to represent four themes of the Vans’ “Off the Wall” lifestyle: action sports, arts, music, and local flavor.
Vans employees and an internal judging panel will assist in selecting the top 50 schools to be featured as semi-finalists. Those 50 schools will then be posted online for a public vote on the Vans Custom Culture website from April 26 to May 10, to help determine the top five schools. The top five finalists will be awarded an all-expense paid trip to Los Angeles to showcase their designs at an event to a panel of celebrity judges. In partnership with Laguna College of Art + Design, Americans for the Arts, Blick, and Journeys, the overall winner will earn $50,000 and sponsored related prizes for additional funds towards their school’s arts program. The four runner-up schools will each be rewarded $4,000 for their participation.
This year, Vans Custom Culture will introduce a new component to the competition—Customs. Schools will be given the additional challenge of creating a design or pattern to match the theme “Technology in Design.” Even though Customs will be part of the overall submission, it will be judged and prized separately from the grand prize of $50,000. Vans will award the winning school with $5,000 towards its art program and up to 25 pairs of shoes featuring the newly designed custom print. The winner will be announced on May 5 on the Vans Customs site. 
For information and registration guidelines, visit Vans Custom Culture and watch this Vans Custom Culture 2015 teaser on YouTube.
About Vans
Vans®, a VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC) brand, is the original action sports footwear, apparel and accessories brand. Vans authentic collections are sold globally in more than 170 countries through a network of subsidiaries, distributors and international offices. Vans also owns and operates more than 450 retail locations around the world. The Vans brand promotes the action sports lifestyle, youth culture and creative self-expression through the support of athletes, musicians and artists and through progressive events such as the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing®, the Vans Downtown Showdown, the Vans Pool Party, the Vans Warped Tour® and surfing’s most prestigious contest, the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing
Whitley Ngo