News Column

RRHS art students win shoe design contest, $50K

June 14, 2014

By Elaine D. Briseno, Albuquerque Journal, N.M.

June 14--Rio Rancho High School was named grand champion of the annual Vans Custom Culture shoe-design contest for the third time.

The school faced four other teams from around the country in the final round, and judges chose the top winner. The grand prize winner was announced June 11 in New York at Industria Superstudio. RRHS art teacher Matthew Lutz has led the three championship teams in 2010, 2012 and this year. He and the students who designed this year's shoes traveled to New York City for the announcement.

RRHS will receive $50,000 for its arts programs, and one of the designs will be put into production and sold at select Vans and Journeys retail stores, as well as online.

Earlier this year, students were given four white canvas Vans and asked to design each one with a different theme -- art, music, action sports and local flavor. Judges narrowed the pool from 2,000 entrants to 50 semifinalists, 10 from each of five regions. The winner from each region was chosen by Internet votes and became a finalist.

This year's competition was tough, according to Lutz, and judges told the team it had won by one point. Lutz called the experience "amazing" but said this will be his last year doing the contest.

"It's not gonna get any better than what we just pulled off," he said. "They were great artists, and they got along. I've had a good run and I've reached the top."


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Source: Albuquerque Journal (NM)

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