CIRCLEVILLE - A group of Circleville art students may not have won the big prize in the Vans Custom Culture art contest, but they did earn a trip to the Big Apple and $4,000 for the high school art program.
Seniors Amanda Williams and Anna Gilmore, along with juniors Ryane Heise, Angel Shaw and Monica Gans and sophomores Lydia Wickham and Ashley Sark, made it to the top five in the contest and attended the national finals this week in New York City.
The Vans Custom Culture contest invited art students from high schools throughout the country to decorate white canvas Vans shoes and vie for a $50,000 top prize for their school art program.
"I am really proud of the seven students who worked really hard on their entry," said Robert Wright, Circleville High School art teacher. "They learned how the design process works and learned how it results in a superior design. I know they were basically working on faith, because we left a lot of the design open to innovation. I pushed them really hard, and they responded."
Wright said the students were thrilled to make it into the top five, and the all-expense-paid New York City trip for the finals was just icing on the cake.
This is the second year the Circleville High School art department has entered the Vans Custom Culture contest.
"Last year was the first year we designed an entry for the competition," Wright said. "We didn't get far."
This year, Circleville represented the Northeast Region, beating out other schools through 50 percent judges' votes and 50 percent public vote combined.
As national finalists, the five regional winners competed for a $50,000 grant for their high school art department, and the four runners-up received $4,000 each. Carlsbad High School took the top prize this year.
In addition to the competition, the Circleville High School students toured New York City, visited the Museum of Modern Art, explored The New School/Parsons School of Design and attended a performance of Phantom of the Opera on Broadway during their trip.