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Central High School students make finals of national shoe competition

Shoes are the latest canvas for some Central High School students who are competing in a nationwide competition and could earn some big bucks for the school.
Vans Shoes Become Art Canvas
Published: Apr. 6, 2022 at 6:38 PM EDT|Updated: May. 10, 2022 at 5:50 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Art comes in all different forms, including shoes. That’s the latest canvas for some Central High School students who were competing in a nationwide competition and could earn some big bucks for the school.

Two hundred and 50 schools across the country were selected to participate in Vans Custom Culture Contest. Schools were sent two pairs of white canvas Vans and asked to create shoe art to represent two themes.

One pair has to be designed to represent “hometown pride.” So the students were incorporating the Smoky Mountains, Fountain City and Tennessee Volunteer spirit into that pair. The other pair represents the legacy of the founder of Vans who died in May 2021.

“It always feels good just to be able to put my vision down. And to do it on something that’s more of like, in a facet that’s a little bit more creative,” 11th-grader Elliott Vasconcelos, said.

Students were using paint, paint pens, clay and needlefelt to create shoe art.

Nearly a couple dozen Central High teens helped customize every detail.

“These students have been so great and so helpful. And they’ve risen to the occasion and we’ve had students suggest amazing ideas, things I never would’ve thought of,” Art Teacher, Cheryl Burchett, said.

Students will finish and submit designs by taking pictures and sending them to Vans on Friday, April 15. Vans will then select the top 50 designs. If Central High is selected, there will be a chance for anyone to vote for the school.

The winning school earns $50,000. If they win, they want to buy multiple potter’s wheels to advance their ceramics program. Each potter’s wheel costs about $3,000.

As of May 10, the students are listed as finalists in the competition. School representatives confirmed that just making it to finals means the school will get $15,000 in prize money. The public can vote here to help the students go all the way.

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