Big Bear, CA , May 31, 2012, 1:00pm – Big Bear High School’s art department teacher, students and chaperones were treated to a few days in Los Angeles courtesy of the Vans shoe company as one of the five finalists in the Van’s Custom Culture shoe design contest. Big Bear High placed first in the California region earning a $4,000 cash prize from Vans and, in fact, received the most votes overall in the contest. The attendees from around the country were welcomed at the Vans Headquarters in Cypress to a bbq, tour of the facility, food and music. The students were given the chance to paint a mural, Rit dye t-shirts and given a goodie bag to take home. Wednesday’s contest finale was held at the Long Beach Museum of Art where the first place $50K winning school was announced. National shoe retailer, Journeys, teamed up with Vans Custom Culture to choose their favorite Local Flavor themed shoes with a separate $5,000 prize to their favorite school shoe design along with $1,000 to each of the four runners up. The school that took home the first place $50K prize was Rio Rancho High School from Rio Rancho, New Mexico. But, Big Bear High School still won $5,000 overall for the school’s art department for competing. And, as part of the contest, while en route back to Big Bear, our students have been given a graffiti tour in the industrial district of South LA were many of the buildings have been commissioned by artists to design entire building facades. The Vans Custom Culture experience has given our students a little more knowledge of just how creativity and art can enrich the lives of all of us. Congratulations to our Big Bear art students and teacher, Julia Seaman.