By KAROLYN GEPHART
Art students from Friendswood High School represented their school and town well in Los Angeles during the 2017 Vans Custom Culture Competition June 5-8. FHS art teacher Mary Wise and her students worked diligently earlier to get enough online votes for their school in order to be a finalist after designing their shoes for the contest entry.
The Friendswood group brought home $15k for their art department from Journeys as the 2017 Local Flavor shoe winner as well as $4k from Vans Custom Culture as a runner-up in their annual shoe contest.
FHS students included Grace Cruse, Kyle Dickens, Jose Camacho, Makenzy Newsom, Emily Montes, Sophia Zehentner, Deniz Eren, Andy Nguyen, Clay Davis, Morgan Thatcher, Margaret Schatte, Zach Montz, Abigail Ardoin, Brooke Langston, Anna Chen, Emily Chao, Blake Bryant,Abigale Manchaca, Kenneth Sotto, and Violet Terekhina.
Vans and program partners – LCAD (Laguna College of Art + Design), Americans for the Arts, Blick Art Materials and Journeys, chose the top five high schools selected for the eighth annual Vans Custom Culture art competition.
This year, the program set a new record of 3,000 participating schools in the competition and now, the public has cast their votes helping Vans narrow down the five finalists.
The top five finalists who vied for the $50,000 grand prize included Ridley High School from Folsom, PA representing the Northeast region; Fontainebleau High School from Mandeville, LA representing the Southeast region; Friendswood High School from Friendswood, TX representing the Southwest region; Will C Woods High School from Vacaville, CA representing the California region; and Parker High School from Parker, SD representing the Northwest region.
The South Dakota group won.
The finalists traveled to Los Angeles on all-expenses paid trip where their designs were presented at the final event at the H.D. Buttercup Loft in the downtown arts district area on June 7. A panel of influential judges including pro-skater Lizzie Armanto, pro-surfer Leila Hurst, artist Jay Howell, fashion blogger Jayne Min, evaluated the designs around the four competition themes.
They then selected the grand prize winner based on Overall Creativity, Relevance to the Theme and Execution. The grand-prize winner was awarded $50,000 and the four runner-ups received $4,000 towards their schools’ art program.
For more information, visit the Vans Custom Culture.