Seven creative students from Westbury High School are putting their best foot forward for the chance to win thousands of dollars for their campus’ art program—and to see their designs on other people’s feet.
The Westbury group—which is comprised of Joel Arredondo, Miguel Arredondo, Johnlee Chukwu, Cristian Garcia, Jailen Mendez, Silvester Laguna, and Klo Lay Pla—was selected from among 200 teams of applicants to participate in the Vans Custom Culture contest.
The competition is designed to foster high-school students’ creativity while simultaneously building awareness of shrinking arts education budgets across the country. Participants are challenged to customize four pairs of plain white Vans shoes using the following themes: art, music, action sports, and local flavor. Details from Westbury’s submissions include an astronaut against a backdrop of the Houston skyline (local flavor) and a skateboarding ramp complete with hand rail (action sports).
Judges will determine the top 10 semifinalists for each of five regions, and those will be presented to the public for voting starting Friday, April 24. Voting will last through Monday, May 11, with the top five finalists being announced on May 12.
All 25 regional finalists will be flown to New York City for the announcement of the grand prize winner in June. The grand prize winner will receive $50,000 for its high school art program and a chance for its designs to be sold in Vans retail stores. Runners-up will receive $4,000 towards their schools.
The Westbury team works under the direction of art teacher Amanda Fuchs.