Pearl River Central students participate in shoe design contest

Published 7:00 am Saturday, March 3, 2018

Students in the arts and ceramics programs at Pearl River Central High School have been selected to participate in the 2018 Vans Custom Culture competition.

Art teachers Catherine Bass and Megan Hodge said Pearl River Central is one of 500 schools across the country to have been selected to participate in this year’s contest.

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“We had to fill out an online application and answer questions regarding the culture of our school, our school district and the art program,” Hodge said. “A couple of weeks later, we received a notification from Vans that we had been selected to participate and we received more information on the next step of the contest.”

The contest tasks students with coming up with designs for two pairs of shoes, with the theme “Off the Wall” and “Local Flavor.” Bass said all 110 students in the Arts I and ceramics class submitted designs. After the students voted on the submissions, they narrowed the list to about 15 designs.

The next step is to narrow the list even further and possibly combine some of the designs.

“I think this is a cool contest to participate in and it’s definitely a once-in-a-lifetime kind of opportunity,” ceramics student Lindsay Caldwell said.

Students have until March 30 to incorporate their designs on two blank shoes that they received from Vans and submit them for the contest.

According to, after all contest entries have been submitted, the public will be able to vote on their favorite between April 23 and May 4. Vans will then publish the top five finalists and will host a final event between May 14 and 18 at the school that wins the grand prize.

Bass said the school that wins the grand prize will receive $75,000 towards the school’s art program, a voucher for 40 free pairs of shoes, a visit from Vans and a lunch party.

“I’m excited about this contest and the students have come up with many great designs,” Bass said. “A lot of our students wear Vans, so for them to know that we were selected to participate in this contest, it’s been a lot of fun.”