How a Middletown student could win $50,000 painting shoes
MIDDLETOWN, PA (WHTM) – Vincent “Vinny” Corradi is currently a junior at Middletown High School. His love of the arts led him to become a finalist in the Vans High School Custom Culture competition, and he’s in the running to win $ 50,000 for his school’s art department.
Vinny is a very calm kid, but everyone around him will tell you how special he is. In his spare time he paints custom-made shoes and has turned them into a sideline. He jokes that his father is his “manager” because “he keeps pushing me, helping me evaluate my shoes and even buying the supplies I need to make them.”
Vinny’s teacher, Mrs. Liz Strite, found out about the competition from Vinny and was happy to give him the time and inspiration for the competition. The competition recommends that multiple students help with the design process. So she’s gathered some of her students to help Vinny with some ideas. This year’s competition included two different themes to choose from: “Hometown Pride” and “Head in the Clouds”. After some deliberation between the groups, Vinny decided on his subject “Head in the Clouds” and started his design. He submitted the final design and quickly learned that Vans selected him as one of 250 finalists in the competition.
Strite saw the potential in Vinny when he entered the arts program as a freshman. He quickly approached her to advance to a level in the program, and shortly after she realized he had more potential, they agreed to promote him to the third level of the program in his freshman year of high school. She says she will definitely use Vinny as an example for her future students to show that you never know what can happen to your art if you don’t share it with the world.
Vinny is no stranger to shoe design. A look at his Instagram page shows that he has regularly brought normal shoes to life. His work has attracted the attention of several college wrestlers from around the country who turned to Vinny to design shoes for her. Vinny is a wrestler himself so it is very inspiring for him to see that the athletes he looks up to want his job.
He credits the competition for helping him gain confidence in his work. He said before he got the recognition he didn’t always feel confident about his art. But knowing that a big company like Vans thought their job was good enough to be part of the competition is a huge boost to their confidence.
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The next round of submissions is scheduled for Friday, April 16. The top 50 finalists will be announced on April 26th, followed by a public voting to determine the winners by May 7th. The winner will receive $ 50,000 for the arts department at their school. Four runners-up will each win $ 15,000 for their arts department.
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Vans High School Custom Culture is a competition that was launched in the hope of inspiring and empowering students to develop their creativity through art and design.