Rio Rancho High School Claims Top $50,000 Prize at the Third Annual Vans Custom Culture Art Showcase at the Long Beach Museum of Art

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Judges including Actress AnnaLynne McCord of 90210 Award Top Honor; Journeys Awards $5,000 and “Local Attitude” Award to Rio Rancho High School

LONG BEACH, CA (May 31, 2012) – Students from Rio Rancho High School (Rio Rancho, NM) claimed top prize on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at the Vans Custom Culture Art & Design Showcase at the Long Beach Museum of Art.  Rio Rancho’s four Vans shoe designs were initially chosen from nearly 900 submissions across all 50 states and with the top honor, Rio Rancho High School receives a $50,000 grant towards the school’s art programs.  Rio Rancho High School was also honored by Journeys with a $5,000 contribution for winning the “Local Attitude” award for creating the shoes that best represented their home turf.

Celebrity judges included actress AnnaLynne McCord (The CW’s 90210), designer, television host and author Whitney Port, skate legend Tony Alva, musician Jordan Buckley of Every Time I Die, and tattoo artist Oliver Peck (Spike TV’s Ink Master).  Along with the student’s masterful creations, customized shoes by Vans Custom Culture Ambassadors Conan O’Brien, Kristen Stewart, Rachel Bilson and Lauren Conrad among many others were also on display.

Teacher Matthew Lutz’s Rio Rancho class initially was chosen through a highly competitive process that narrowed the 900 schools to 50 semi- finalists.  The five national finalists were chosen by more than 100,000 votes place through online voting: Big Bear High School (Big Bear, CA), Mountain View High School (Meridian, ID), Watkins Glen High School (Watkins Glen, NY), Rio Rancho High School (Rio Rancho, NM) and Eastern High School (Louisville, KY)

How Vans Custom Culture Works

Earlier this year, each of the nearly 900 participating high schools were sent four pairs of Vans shoes as a blank canvas to design their creations.  Each shoe was to represent one of four themes: Action Sports, Music, Art and Local Flavor.  Schools then submitted photo entries via the Vans Custom Culture website with global voting eventually whittling the entries down to the “Final Five” showed their work at the Long Beach Museum of Art.  The top school will receive $50,000, while each finalist receives $5,000.  The Journeys “Local Attitude” trophy awards one school with a $5,000 donation for the most compelling local theme.

About Vans

Vans, the original action sports footwear and apparel company, is a brand of VF Corporation. Vans® collections include authentic footwear, apparel and accessories, snowboard boots and the Pro-tec line of protective gear and are sold in the United States through more than 270 company-owned stores as well as independent retailers.  Internationally, Vans sells its goods in approximately 170 countries through a network of subsidiaries, distributors and foreign offices.  Vans promotes action sports lifestyle and youth culture through support of athletes on boards and bikes all over the globe and through progressive events such as the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing®, the Vans Downtown Showdown, the Pro-tec Pool Party and the Vans Warped Tour®.

About Journeys

Journeys is a leader in the teen specialty retail scene, with over 800 stores in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and most recently Canada. Journeys uses fashion savvy and merchandising science to keep in step with the fast-paced footwear and accessories market for 12- to 22-year-old guys and girls. Journeys offers a wide variety of trendy, relevant brands that cater to teens that seek the hottest, new styles. The Journeys store is more than a retail environment; it’s an extension of the teen lifestyle. From the plasma TVs playing exclusive content and the latest music videos, to our visual merchandising strategy and promotions, to our employees whose image and style reflect our customers lifestyle and attitude; the Journeys store is designed to stay relevant and engage our core customer. In addition, Journeys reaches its customers through, a mobile website, catalog, national advertising, strategic cross-promotions, social media –,,, and an annual music and action sports tour – the Journeys Backyard BBQ ( Journeys – An Attitude You Can Wear!

Media Contact:
Contact: Kate Franklin / Alexis Wallsh
Bollare Communications /
310 – 246 – 0983

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