Vote Now for the Final Five Contenders in the 2015 Vans Custom Culture Competition

Vans launches online voting today for the Vans Custom Culture high school art competition and calls on the public to help narrow down 50 semi-finalists to the top five contenders competing for $50,000 for their school’s art program. To celebrate this milestone in the 2015 program, Vans releases a special colorway of the Authentic that was designed by 2014 winners Rio Rancho High School from New Mexico.  

Starting today, April 24 at 8am PDT through May 11 at 5pm PDT, students, parents, teachers and friends from all 50 states can log onto www.vans.com/customculture and vote for their favorite designs. The five finalists will head to New York City in June for the final event at the renowned Industria Superstudio where a panel of celebrity judges will determine the grand prize winner of the $50,000 donation.

Vans Custom Culture was created to inspire and empower high school students through creative expression while calling attention to the shrinking funds dedicated to art education programs. Earlier this year, over 2,500 high schools across the country registered to compete – the most in Custom Culture’s six-year history. As part of the competition, each participating school created four unique designs to represent the Vans “Off the Wall” lifestyle using iconic Vans shoes such as the Authentic, Classic Slip-On, 106 Vulcanized and Sk8-Hi as their canvases. Utilizing various artistic mediums to showcase their work, students crafted their submissions by pulling inspiration from action sports, art, music and each school’s own “local flavor.”  

To celebrate this phase of the 2015 competition, Vans releases the “local flavor” colorway that was designed by the 2014 winner, Rio Rancho High School. Using the Vans Authentic as their canvas, the students of Rio Rancho channeled their Southwestern roots into the creative process by bringing shapes, colors and scenery from the region to the uppers of the popular lace-up shoe.

Originally drawn and painted by hand, the artwork includes an intricate geometric pattern on the toe vamp and a scenic desert landscape throughout the quarter panel.

At the heel, a UFO is discretely placed in the clouds as a reference to New Mexico’s history of extraterrestrial encounters and a “mile 66” road sign positioned on the ground that alludes to Vans’ birth year, 1966. Proceeds from the shoe will go to non-profit partner Americans for the Arts to support the organization as they advance arts education. The “local flavor” colorway of the Authentic is available now online and select Vans retail locations across the US.

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Join in the Vans Custom Culture conversation by using the hashtag #VansCustomCulture on social networks and vote for this year’s top five finalists at www.vans.com/customculture.

Top 50 Schools Competing for a Spot in the Final Five Via Public Online Vote are Listed Below by Region:

California Region: Adrian Wilcox High School (Santa Clara, CA), Buena High School (Ventura, CA), Carlsbad High School (Carlsbad, CA), Diamond Bar High School (Diamond Bar, CA), Evergreen Valley High School (San Jose, CA), Glendora High School (Glendora, CA), Northwood High School (Irvine, CA), Sheldon High School (Sacramento, CA), University High School (Irvine, CA) & Western High School (Anaheim, CA).

Northeast Region: Circleville High School (Circleville, OH), Eastern Regional High School (Voorhees, NJ), Loyola Academy (Wilmette, IL), Niles North High School (Skokie, IL), Oceanside High School (Oceanside, NY), Passaic County Technical Institute (Wayne, NJ), Peru High School (Peru, IN), Pottsgrove High School (Pottstown, PA), Rochester High School (Rochester, IL) & Vineland High School South Building (Vineland, NJ).

Northwest Region: Elk River High School (Elk River, MN), Glacier Peak High School (Snohomish, WA), Molalla High School (Molalla, OR), Northfield High School (Northfield, MN), Parker High School (Parker, SD), St. Paul Preparatory School (St. Paul, MN), St. Stephen's Academy (Beaverton, OR), Stanwood High School (Standwood, WA), VJ and Angela Skutt Catholic High School (Omaha, NE) & Vallivue High School (Caldwell, ID).

Southeast Region: Atlantic Coast High School (Jacksonville, FL), Caddo Hills High School (Norman, AR), Caddo Parish Magnet High School (Shreveport, LA), Cypress Bay High School (Weston, FL), Granby High School (Norfolk, VA), Great Bridge High School (Chesapeake, VA), Harris County High School (Hamilton, GA), Jones High School (Orlando, FL), McCracken County High (Paducah, KY) & Warner Christian Academy (Daytona Beach, FL).

Southwest Region: BASIS Chandler (Chandler, AZ), Foothill High School (Henderson, NV), Horizon High School (Thorton, CO), James Pace Early College High School (Brownsville, TX), Labette County High School (Altamont, KS), McKinley High School (Honolulu, HI), Northwest Christian School (Phoenix, AZ), Sterling High School (Sterling, CO), Wakeland High School (Frisco, TX) & West Grand High School (Kremmling, CO).