Birmingham students create one-of-a-kind Converse designs with UAB Department of Art and Art History faculty, students this week

chucks 2Five top students from Birmingham City high schools are participating in a design workshop this week with University of Alabama at Birmingham professional and student artists to create one-of-a-kind Chuck Taylor Converse shoes.

The students, who won the chance to participate in the #GKChucks Student Design Competition, are working directly with faculty and students from the UAB College of Arts and SciencesDepartment of Art and Art History to bring their Chuck Taylor Converse designs to life. The student-designed shoes will then be auctioned off during the Growing Kings’ inaugural fundraising gala Chucks & Tux event Friday, April 8, at Workplay. Chucks & Tux is designed to attract a diverse mix of partygoers who include members of the philanthropic community, civic leaders, and both young and seasoned professionals. Attendees are encouraged to wear Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers along with their formal attire to match the distinctive flare of the event’s overall theme.

Upon completing the design boot camp April 1, winners will receive their very own iPad Mini. The five winners are first place Shea W. and second place DeeAnthony McCreary, both of P.D. Jackson-Olin High School; third place SheKelah Washington of Woodlawn High School; and a fourth- and fifth-place tie between Keona Finley of P.D. Jackson-Olin High School and Anthony Durr Jr. of Huffman High School.

Department of Art and Art History workshop leaders for the event are Chair Lauren Lake, MFA; Professor of Painting Gary Chapman, MFA; Assistant Professor of Drawing Doug Baulos, MFA; Vincent Rizzo and Terrence Wimberly, UAB Bachelor of Fine Arts majors; and Giani Martin and Karl Chester, UAB Bachelor of Arts majors. UAB Juried Student Annual juror Paul Rusconi will also participate in an afternoon boot camp during his time as a visiting artist at UAB.

Growing Kings is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides mentoring programs to at-risk males in Birmingham City Schools. The group’s goal is to offer positive direction that will lead to progressive thinking in all aspects of students’ lives. Growing Kings differentiates its group from other mentoring services by utilizing nontraditional methods to reach young men. Growing Kings’ vision is to provide young men with essential life tools that will allow them to become successful in their own endeavors, as well as leaders for others and their communities.