Star City High Art 2 students recently worked together to design a line of shoes for Vans, a worldwide manufacturer of sneakers, skateboarding shoes, BMX shoes, snowboarding boots and other shoe types.

Students in Roger Darren High’s Art 2 class collaborated on four original shoe designs as part of the 2013 Vans Custom Culture Contest, a national art competition.

Established in 2010, the Vans Custom Culture Contest inspires high school students across the United States to embrace their creativity and draw attention to the importance of art as an integral part of our school’s focus in the face of shrinking budgets.

“The Vans Custom Culture Contest provided my students with the opportunity to collaborate with their classmates and apply their artistic skills on a real world project,” said High.

Star City High School was one of nearly 400 high schools from all 50 states that competed in the contest. Vans supplied each school with four pairs of shoes (106, Sk8-Hi, Slip On and Authentic) to make their own creations.

Each shoe had to represent one of four themes (Action Sports, Music, Art, and Local Flavor) and an underlying theme tying the entire collection together.

As part of the project each Art 2 student created shoes designs individually. The designs were then voted on by the class with each student providing constructive criticism on how to modify and strengthen each design.

Once the whole class approved of the designs, students worked in small groups in order to paint the designs on the canvas shoes. Images of the shoes were then submitted to Vans where they were judged.

While the Star City High School students ultimately did not win the contest, each student gained valuable experience in fashion design and working together towards a shared goal.

“As with every contest everyone can’t always win, but everyone can learn” said High. “The project helped students learn how to cooperate together on an art project from the development of ideas through the completion of the final product.”

This was the second year in a row that Star City High School art students have participated in the Vans Custom Culture Contest.