By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
When McNary High School senior Reina Strand approached Todd Layton, the Celtic graphic arts teacher, with a flyer from the Vans Shoes company soliciting entries for shoe designs and the opportunity to win $50,000 for the school, Strand expected (hoped) he would assign it to other students.
Instead, Layton made it a class project. Strand was charged with heading up the design for a pair of boardsport-themed shoes.
“I started out with just snowboarding, but it kind of grew to include surfing,” said Strand. “I approached it from a graphic design standpoint and I created vinyl stickers and then applied them onto the shoes. Most of the things I create stay on the computer and it was cool to make something that someone could wear.”
Fellow Celtic students Kim White and Elsa Olsen were tasked with creating a pair of music-themed shoes; Fallon Dunham created a pair of art-themed shoes; and Katelyn Kolb tackled a pair with the theme of local flavor.
Along the way, each of the artists enlisted fellow students and made some inspired choices because the Celtic Vans collection was selected as one of the top 50 entries in the country.
The final winner will be decided on a combination of online votes and Vans judges’ assessments. To support the McNary students, go to sites.vans.com/customculture, click “vote,” sign in with e-mail or a Facebook account, then click “northwest” and look for McNary’s entry in the second row on the page. Participants can vote daily until May 11.
“I don’t think I believed anyone when I found out we made the top 50, I had to see it for myself,” said Olsen.
Olsen and White each took one shoe of the music-themed pair. Olsen went old school with an electric guitar, vinyl records and logos from bands including the Rolling Stones, AC/DC and Kiss.
“My take was having the other shoe feature modern bands and I used an acoustic guitar, guitar picks and logos from Taylor Swift, Twenty One Pilots and Fall Out Boy,” said White.
Kolb’s local flavor shoes highlight the terrain of Oregon on a light blue background.
“I picked a few Oregon locations like Bend with mountains, Portland with a rose and waves for the coast,” Kolb said.
Along the way, some of the design leaders were roping in classmates to help with the work.
Strand ended up with about 50 stickers for each shoe and it took upward of an hour to finish each one.
“Then I had two or three people just helping me clean up all the excess pieces after they were on the shoe,” Strand said.
“One of my friends, Tori (Fryman), helped me figure out which colors to use and where everything was going to go,” Kolb said.
There were also some more difficult lessons:
“Sharpies bleed,” said White.
She and Olsen used a combination of markers and colored pencils to complete their shoes, but the markers had a mind of their own.
“I would get something looking perfect, put it down and come back and the colors had run everywhere,” Olsen said.
Strand said working on the project actually served as a way for the graphic arts students and more traditional art students to work together.
“I know in the design classes we had we had trouble kind of figuring out how some of our ideas would work, but the art class was really able to help us work through it,” Strand said.
Other students who participated in the shoe designs were: Sierra Murray, Adele Cooper, Chance Crosby, Gretchen Meyer, Cami Decker, Kayanna Dunaway, Kaylinn Love, Kennedy Kelley, Elizabeth Russell, Hannah Kannier, Jordyn Gilstrap and Aimee Williams.