By SANJIT DEEPALAM
Artists from University High School (UHS) have advanced to the Top 50 voting round of the Vans Custom Culture Contest and the Top 10 of the California region, marking the third year in a row that UHS artists have advanced to these rounds. Eight talented artists from UHS created four incredible pairs of shoes for the competition.
The competition was based on four themes: music, art, action sports and local flavor. The teams were organized by LeiAnna Chin (Sr.), who participated in the competition last year. The teams worked day and night to design and create the shoes. The eight UHS artists’ pieces were judged alongside thousands of other submissions from all over the country and were selected to be among the top ten finalists for the regional competition. The submissions from UHS are stronger than ever, brilliantly capturing all the themes of the competition.
The competition offered UHS artists a chance to express their creativity. Maggie Kuo (Jr.), who worked on the art theme with Amber Lin (Sr.) and Katelyn Rho (Jr.), said, “We drew inspiration from the 60’s and the 70’s….and also from Michelangelo with the Adam and God piece. So basically we mashed up the old and new to create our piece.” The shoes gave the artists a new and inventive way of expressing themselves artistically and a chance to contribute to the school’s art program. As Ms. Dana Kramer (Visual and Performing Arts) said, “This competition is a great opportunity for students to see the real world applications of their art and to also share their passion and talent with the local community.”
Kenna Uyesugi (So.), Jasmine Bryant (So.) and Nancy Wu (So.) were the team in charge of the music theme, while Connie Chang (Sr.) and Chin worked on the local flavor and action sports themes, respectively.
Competition this year is stiff. Irvine’s Northwood High School and Anaheim’s Western High School also made it into the top ten groups in California and will compete against UHS to win the regional competition.
If UHS wins the California competition, our artists will win $4,000 for the school and will be flown to New York City for the final round of judging of the competition; if the artists win the national prize, UHS will be awarded $50,000 for its arts program.
The winner of the California competition is determined by an online vote. Go to www.vans.com/customculture/vote and vote for University High School in the California region. Voting ends May 11, at 5 PM Pacific Time.