Vans Unveils 2017 Custom Culture Competition Finalists

Vans Unveils 2017 Custom Culture Competition Finalists

Vans and its program partners, Laguna College of Art + Design (LCAD), Americans for the Arts, Blick Art Materials and Journeys, announced the top five high schools selected for the eighth annual Vans Custom Culture art competition. This year, the program set a new record of 3,000 participating schools in the competition and now, the public has cast their votes helping Vans narrow down the five finalists.

The top five finalists vying for the $50,000 grand prize include:

  • Ridley High School from Folsom, Pennsylvania representing the Northeast region
  • Fontainebleau High School from Mandeville, Louisiana representing the Southeast region
  • Friendswood High School from Friendswood, Texas representing the Southwest region
  • Will C Woods High School from Vacaville, CA representing the California region
  • Parker High School from Parker, SD representing the Northwest region

The finalists will travel to Los Angeles on an all-expenses paid trip where their designs will be presented at the final event at the H.D. Buttercup Loft in the downtown arts district area on June 7. A panel of influential judges including pro-skater Lizzie Armanto, pro surfer Leila Hurst, artist Jay Howell, fashion blogger Jayne Min and a surprise judge/guest performer will evaluate the designs around the four competition themes. They will then select the grand prize winner based on Overall Creativity, Relevance to the Theme and Execution. The grand prize winner will be awarded $50,000 and the four runners-up will receive $4,000 towards their schools’ art programs.

“The driving ethos of the Vans brand is to enable creative expression and the Custom Culture competition gives thousands of students the opportunity to showcase their skills through art,” said Megan Klempa, Vans Custom Culture program manager. “It’s an honor to continue to elevate arts education in schools and we are excited to crown a winner for the 2017 competition.”

As a new element to the 2017 competition, Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School from Richmond, VA is the winner of the Vans Custom Culture Technology in Design Award. Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School was crowned the winner on May 5 on the Vans Customs page. This award was judged separately from the overall submission, granting the school $5,000 toward its art program and shoes using the school’s original design. The public will have the opportunity to incorporate the school’s design when creating their customized shoes on the Vans Customs site.

For more information, visit the Custom Culture website at