This story was updated April 23, 2018, at 11:23 p.m.
A team of students from Hamilton County's Hixson High School has advanced in a national competition that could earn the school $75,000 for its arts program.
The "Custom Culture" contest, hosted by shoemaker Vans, seeks shoe designs featuring two themes: local flavor and "Off the Wall," the company's slogan, according to a news release from a Hamilton County Schools spokesman.
The Hixson team, which is now in the Top 50, includes students Charlie Dickerson, Alia Smith, Michaela Roberts, Logan Summers, Addison Flannigan, Luke Pfennig, Jade Sharp, Amy Gonzales, Sarah Bargerstock, Josh Green, Tori Gifford, Jocelyn Salter, Suhani Patel, Amanda Lin and Devin Goforth.
To showcase "local flavor," the Hixson High students highlighted iconic sights and symbols of the Greater Chattanooga area, the release states. The local entry represents Ruby Falls, Rock City, the Incline Railway, the Choo Choo, Point Park, and cultural icons such as the Delta Queen and the Cherokee Water Spider. The Tennessee River can be seen coursing over both shoes, bringing them together.
In the "Off the Wall" design, students built platforms to create a cavern underneath. The cave is lit by fairy lights, making the cast resin crystals gleam. Mushrooms dot the subterranean landscape, and a monster defends his treasures. Moss encircles the trim of the shoes, providing a smooth transition from top to bottom. Living plants are placed inside the shoes, while artificial sprouts pop up near the toe.
Voting for the grand prize ends May 4. Visit customculture.vans.com to vote.