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Susky Art Students Enter Vans Competititon

Dan McNair, Video Journalist

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Dan Pergrin represents action sports with a snowboard-themed design. Photo courtesy of Wesley Myers.

Dan Pergrin represents action sports with a snowboard-themed design. Photo courtesy of Wesley Myers.

Vans sneakers are a recognizable symbol of pop culture to many individuals around the world, but most are unaware that the classic shoes are being turned into sculptures by high school students around the nation.

Vans Custom Culture is a competition that recruits students to turn a pair of blank vans into a sculpture focused around four themes: art, music, action sports, and local flavor.

The competition was created by the team at Vans, which originated from skate and punk culture, to encourage high school students to embrace their creative side through design and art as well as draw attention to shrinking art education funds.

Steve King's depiction of "local flavor". Photo Courtesy of Wesley Myers.

Steve King’s depiction of “local flavor”. Photo courtesy of Wesley Myers.

Once the models are finished, they are sent to a committee and sorted into the top 50 entries.

Then, students, staff, and community members vote for the five best entries from around the country.

Art Teacher Wesley Myers oversaw the students’ design process.

“In class, I try to expose kids to as many materials as possible and encourage them to use them in multiple projects,” said Myers.

“The vans project is so nice because its’ completely open ended as far as materials. It usually becomes a challenge of “will this work on the shoe? Let’s try it”. It’s very experimental and experimenting always leads to failures and successes but also learning”.

David Gallegos's music-based design. Photo Courtesy of Wesley Myers

David Gallegos’s music-based design. Photo courtesy of Wesley Myers.

Art Student Dan Pergrin used his shoes to build a ski slope for the theme of action sports.

“I feel like having the category, action sports, really benefited me because I was able to create a mountain scene using the Vans Sk8-Hi, which is something I’m very close to and familiar with because I snowboard a lot,” said Pergrin.

Once the top five entries are selected, winning students are flown to Los Angeles where the winner will be announced.

The first place contestant will win an impressive $50,000 check in support of their school’s art and design programs.

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The student news site of Susquehannock High School in Glen Rock, Pennsylvania.
Susky Art Students Enter Vans Competititon