Five female student artists at Warren High School designed two pairs of Vans sneakers as part of the 10th annual Vans Custom Culture Competition. They are one of 50 finalists in the nation and now are in the running for a $75,000 prize for their art program. (The four runners up will each earn $10,000.)
They need help to win the grand prize – anyone can go online and vote every day until May 3 at customculture.vans.com/vote (They’re listed as Earl Warren HS). The top five winners will be announced the week of May 6.
Pictured are art teacher Christopher Suniga, students Harmony Smith, Olivia Salinas, Leyla Unlu, Katrina Macias, Alanna Garza, and art teacher Christopher Warnagiris.
“I thought they looked amazing, and with all the hard work and thought we put into the creation, I thought we had a good shot to make the Top 50,” said senior Harmony Smith.
There are two shoe designs – one incorporating “Local Flavor” and the other encompassing the Vans slogan “Off the Wall.” The Local Flavor design captures the beauty and colors of Fiesta and the Mexican culture through dancers, a serape blanket, the famous Riverwalk umbrellas, and Arneson River Theatre.
The Off the Wall design is three dimensional with two sea monsters whose green and purple tentacles come together in harmony.
The artists and their teachers worked on the size 9 sneakers since mid-February.
“They’re a popular brand – it seems like half the kids are wearing them,” said art teacher Christopher Warnagiris. “This contest is something familiar and relatable, more mainstream art.”
The nationwide high school art competition aims to inspire youth creativity and self-expression through the arts, while making an impact to the community and schools who need additional funds.