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Bob Jones artists need votes in Van’s shoe challenge

Student artists who designed the final shoes are Julie Bartlow, Kasey Benesh, Emiko Higman and Chayenne Lugo. (CONTRIBUTED)
Student artists who designed the final shoes are Julie Bartlow, Kasey Benesh, Emiko Higman and Chayenne Lugo. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – The lowly tennis shoe may be the ticket to the Big Apple for art students at Bob Jones High School.

Bob Jones art and art survey classes have entered Van’s Custom Challenge, a national contest sponsored by Van’s Shoes (vans.com/customculture/vote).

In the fine arts department, art teachers Robin Lakso and Jenny Norton liked Leigh Thomas’ idea for entering the contest. Thomas teaches art survey and is drumline director and assistant band director at Bob Jones.

“The arts survey class began by working on some designs for the shoes,” Lakso said. “The art students became involved and revised some of the designs.”

Van’s shipped four different styles of shoes to Bob Jones and 1,500 other schools. “Each shoe must follow the themes: art, music, ‘board’ sports and local culture,” Lakso said.

Van’s selected 50 schools as national finalists. “Ten schools are from different areas of the United States,” Lakso said. “Bob Jones was the only high school chosen from the state of Alabama in the Southeast region.”

Student artists who designed the final shoes are Julie Bartlow, Kasey Benesh, Emiko Higman and Chayenne Lugo.

Foreboding eyes peer from the background of these shoes in the Van's Custom Challenge. (CONTRIBUTED)
Foreboding eyes peer from the background of these shoes in the Van’s Custom Challenge. (CONTRIBUTED)

One design depicts a surfer with water splashes spilling on the shoe sole. Eerie eyeballs peek through an overlay camouflage on another pair. Rockets are blasting on one set of shoes, while another whimsical pair features a genie’s lamp and neon-bright creatures.

The top five finalists in Van’s Custom Challenge will a trip to New York. The winner will receive $50,000 for his or her school’s art department.

“We are encouraging our students and parents and our community to vote to get our students to New York,” Lakso said.

Voting is easy. To vote, visit vans.com/customculture/vote. Click “Southeast” and “Bob Jones High School.”

The last day to vote is May 13.

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