GALLATIN, TN (WSMV) - A Gallatin high school student is competing for a $50,000 grand prize for the custom Vans shoe painting contest.

In the art world painting on canvas is not unusual, but when the canvas your painting is shoes, it’s definitely different. The nationwide high school art contest from Vans shoes has students from all over the country competing by painting custom shoes that are voted on to determine a winner.

$50,000 is up for grabs at a Middle Tennessee high school that’s close to winning it all.

News4's Terry Bulger spoke to the student who has made it into the top 50 finalists of the contest. Student Sydney Baird at Station Camp High in Gallatin has been inching closer and closer to the grand prize.

“We sculptured and painted a bear and raccoon and the bear represents the smoky mountains and it’s playing guitar which is definitely one of the most popular instruments for Tennessee and country music," said Baird.

Baird credits her art teacher, Mr. Long, for the inspiration. That inspiration can be seen all along the halls at Station Camp high school where art variety is abundant from students.

The competition is tough, 50 schools with shoes to see, you can vote at the Vans competition website.

The creativity that seems silly now could lead these teens on to college, where fashion design careers take over.

While the top prize of $50,000 is the goal, four runner-ups will win $15,000 for coming close. The public can vote online for their favorites until May 7th, but after that, Vans will announce the top five contestants and grand prize winner between May 17th through May 21st. is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, 4WARN weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from News4 Nashville.

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Feature Reporter

Terry Bulger has been bringing you stories of the people and places that make Tennessee unique and interesting on News4 since 1990. Contact Terry if you have an interesting community story for him to cover.

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