Vans, the original action sports brand and one of the largest youth culture brands in the world, named Parker High School from Parker, South Dakota as the grand prize winner of the eighth annual Vans Custom Culture art competition. Vans and program partners - Laguna College of Art + Design (LCAD), Americans for the Arts, Blick Art Materials and Journeys, awarded $50,000 toward the school’s arts education program. The remaining finalists – Fontainebleau High School, Friendswood High School, Ridley High School and Will C Woods High School were each awarded $4,000 to support their arts program.
Vans hosted the top five final high schools on an all-expenses paid trip to Los Angeles for a week-long schedule of activities and celebration. The final event was held on June 7 at the H.D. Buttercup Loft in the downtown arts district. Influential judges including creative consultant and designer Jayne Min, pro-surfer Leila Hurst, pro-skater Lizzie Armanto, Vans Director of Footwear Color and Trend Rian Pozzebon, as well as special musical guest Daya, selected the winning custom shoe designs among the talented group of art students. Based on the voting criteria of Overall Creativity, Relevance to the Theme and Execution, Parker High School was deemed the 2017 winner. The event was live streamed on Facebook so families and fellow classmates across the country could join in on the celebration.
“Vans is proud to be a driving force for students to express their creativity through art and design,” said Doug Palladini, Vans Global Brand 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.”
In addition to the grand prize, footwear retailer, Journeys, awarded Friendswood High School from Friendswood, Texas $15,000 for their art program. LCAD further fueled their involvement by extending scholarship opportunities to the student finalists so that they can continue to explore art and design educations and career paths.
Since its inception, Vans Custom Culture has awarded hundreds of thousands in monetary donations to support art education in schools across the nation, empowering creativity through art and design. 3,000 high schools registered for this year’s competition and were challenged to design four pairs of blank canvas Vans shoes to personify the Vans “Off the Wall” lifestyle: action sports, art, music and local flavor.