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Watkins students make design contest finals

    WATKINS GLEN—Nine Watkins Glen students are the northeast finalists in the Vans Custom Culture shoe design challenge, Friday, May 4.
    Watkins will be one of five schools flown to Los Angeles, May 30, where the $50,000 grand prize will be awarded.  Even if Watkins doesn’t win the top award, they are guaranteed $4,000 for the Watkins art program for making it to the finals.  Anyone could vote once a day on a school’s shoes.  The last day of voting was Thursday, May 3.
    To be entered Watkins Glen students designed and decorated four pairs of Vans shoes based on: local flavor, art, sports, and music.  The students spent nearly a month working on the shoes.  The students include: Erika Rhodes, Brandi Crissinger, Meredith Johnson, Chanda Brown, Kim Morris, Mara Brisbois, Lydia Bievier, Courtney Tuttle, and Elena Likoudis.
    All nine students worked on the art shoe, and then worked on the other three shoes in groups.  Art teacher Elaine Wojtus explained the students painted a film reel on the art shoe and each person painted an image on each section of the film.
    The local flavor design features Seneca Lake and the pavilion on the Watkins Glen pier.  A racecar is also painted on one shoe.  In place of regular laces, the students used dried grape vines as well.
    The music shoe’s theme incorporates a guitar, recreating the guitar neck complete with strings and retainers.  On the sports shoe, the students painted the silhouettes of skiers, skateboarders, motocross rider, etc.  It also includes graffiti style writing.
    “We’re up against some pretty big schools,” said Principal Dave Warren.  “It’s an amazing opportunity for a group of students from a small school like ours.”
    Warren said the students will go down on May 29 and return on May 31.  Superintendent Tom Phillips added that Watkins was one of 900 entrants that originally started in the competition.





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