Semi-Finalists Named in Vans 'Custom Culture' Shoe Contest

Now in its 10th year, the Vans "Custom Culture" art competition allows high school art students to create some very wild-looking Vans tennis shoes.

This year, there are now 50 high schools out of 500 contestants in the semi-finals. They are in the running to win $75,000 for their art programs. The four runners up receive $10,000 for their art departments.

The contest consists of designing two pairs of Vans shoes around themes representing local flavor and something called, "Off the Wall." Each school also has to explain how any prize money would benefit the school's art program.

This year, seven California high schools are among the finalists. They are: Andrew P. High School in San Jose; Harbor High School in Santa Cruz; Highlands High School in Palmdale; North High School in Torrance; Porterville High School in Porterville; Portola Junior/Senior High School in Portola; and Sierra Vista High School in Baldwin Park.

Other semi-finalists are from Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Kentucky, Idaho, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.

Individuals have until 5 p.m. on May 3 to vote on the finalists by going to