New Bedford High School was just announced as the runner-up winner in the 10th annual Vans Custom Culture competition. Each school involved was given a black pair of vans to bring out their creativity and customize the shoes based on specific themes. At a time when arts education is failing to get proper funding nationwide, Vans is working to bring awareness to the "importance of youth creativity and self-expression."

Vans Custom Culture was created to inspire and empower high school students to embrace their creativity through art and design and to bring attention to diminishing arts education budgets. Vans believes everyone should be empowered to express themselves creatively and should be given the tools to do so. Custom Culture is a national high school customization competition using blank Vans shoes to be customized around specific themes. - Vans Custom Culture

The winner was awarded a $75,000 donation towards the school's art programs and the four runner-ups were awarded $10,000 each. New Bedford High School was a strong competitor. They were only allowed to send three photos for judgment and came out in the Top Five out of 500 schools. The other design is pictured below:

Vans Contest / Lynn Souza

The school hosted a pep rally for nearly 200 art students to join in the celebration.

New Bedford High School Art Students Vans Custom Culture Contest

The following students are tied to this amazing project:
Aries Robertson
Jerahmell Valentin
Eryn Evangelho
Nicholas Letourneau
Tiara Hatchett
Jennifer Dinh
Liliana Moreno Cornejo
Lucas Amaral
Keegan O'Malley

New Bedford High School Art Students Vans Custom Culture Contest

Note the strong whaling influence in this colorful design! Go Whalers!