Vans Custom Culture 2020

Nationally recognized custom shoes on display at Zeeland Artists Gallery


Two pairs of custom designed shoes will be on display at The Zeeland Artists Gallery during the month of October to align with the 2020 Avenue of Art. The shoes were semi-finalists in a contest presented by VANS shoes.


Back in January, their Art teacher found the contest prospectus on social media, and decided to pursue the lottery style entry process in hopes of participating. In February she was informed that they had been selected, and two pairs of clean white Vans showed up in March. Before the Covid-19 Pandemic forced schools to close, members of the Zeeland High School National Art Honor Society met to decide who would design the shoes and what they might paint on them.


The categories given by the Vans contest were “Local Flavor” and “Thinking outside the box”. Kyra Bos-2020 Zeeland West Senior was the lead designer for “Local Flavor”, and created the "Feel the ZEEL" shoe design. She used items found around the house to create the light poles and flowers that can be seen in downtown. She had design help from her twin sister Grace Bos, who is also a 2020 Zeeland West Senior.


Jalynn Wilkinson-2020 Zeeland West Senior was the lead designer for the “Thinking outside the box” theme, and created the "Fix the darn road shoe" - She used a 3D printer to create the cone socks, painted the roads and added gravel for texture. She had design assistance from 2020 Zeeland West senior Maddy Gustafson.


During Quarantine, the two girls (Jalynn & Kyra) worked hard to complete the shoes in their homes and even had to take "professional" looking photos to email to their teacher in order to submit them. In the spring they had learned that their shoe designs were chosen as one of the top 25 out of 500! This announcement led to an online voting process that lasted one week.


Although they did not win the grand prize of $50,000 to use for the Zeeland High School art program, their friends, teachers and families are very proud of the way they both worked hard to accomplish a goal even during a global pandemic.

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