The Vans Custom Culture Contest

Last year's entries into the contest,

Last year's entries into the contest,

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Once again, the Vans Custom Culture contest has returned to the young artists of Dayton High school. Every year, Vans throws a contest for young artist across the country to express themselves creatively and individually. Students from all over America are registered to create a design on a shoe template based on the 5 themes: Art, Music, Action, Sports, and local flavor. The artists will then submit their designs to the Vans custom culture website. The 3,000 entrees will then be narrowed down to the top 50 schools by a judging panel and of course, the wonderful employees of Vans. After the judging there will be a public vote to see who will be in the top 5 finals and fly out to Los Angeles to compete, present, and share the beautiful and creative works of art. The winner will receive the grand prize of $50,000 towards the winner’s art fund at their school, along with sponsored related prizes.

Entering its seventh year, the custom culture contest has bloomed throughout the years from 326 entries from the start to a limit of 3,000. This contest gives students across the country a chance to show everyone what their artistic abilities are capable of. I myself will be participating in this contest, along with 9 other students from the Dayton district. The winners from 2016 were New Jersey’s John P. Stevens High School. Their designs were based off of New Jersey diners, Including, burgers, waffle fries, and milkshakes. To win this contest means you have to bring several factors to the table. What the judges are looking for in the designs are creativity, individuality, originality, and true artistic spirit.

To learn more about the Common Culture Contest, I went to our very own art teacher, Mrs. Sciacca, and asked her about what the artists of our high school have up their sleeve. She told me that 10 students in total are participating in the contest. I was also told she was “looking forward to many designs” and that she “has a lot of promising talent throughout all grades.” To get more in depth and see the contest from a different perspective, I interviewed Heather Rodgers, an Art 1 student who is participating in the contest. She told me she had several ideas in mind for the shoe template, but there was one that stuck out shining. She said she would incorporate works of art with modern time. Way to think outside of the box! She also stated that even though there is much competition, she will stay determined and optimistic throughout the competition.

Even with a whopping $50,000 for the grand prize, that just wasn’t enough for Vans. The company partnered up with Journey’s, Americans for the Arts, Laguna College of Art and Design(LCAD), and BLIK art materials. These partners will provide the winners with more rewards, such as money, Education in the Arts, and more. For example, LCAD is a premiere national art and design College. This college will be offering a $25,000 scholarship to each of the top five finalists to allow one individual from each school to earn their BFA in Design and Digital Media.

With the chance of expressing your artistic self, showing others what your talent is capable of, and having the chance to win such wonderful prizes, this will sure cause the student artists across the United States to be excited and give it their all. This contest was made to express, create, and inspire the artistic youth, and we are glad the Students of Dayton have the wonderful opportunity to participate in something as fantastic as this, The Vans Common Culture contest. Good luck fellow Bronco artists!

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