McLain High School Art Shoe Takes Bold Big Milestones

TULSA, Okla. – A shoe art project at McLain High School turns into something unexpected.

Since the completion of the McLain art shoe, it has made its debut in a local museum, proving that the possibilities for this high school project are endless.

“It was the first shoe that started the whole sneakerhead culture — it’s what started this obsession with sneakers,” said McLain High School fine arts teacher Adam Carnes.

Just as the original 1985 Air Jordan 1 “Chicago” started a movement in the sneaker world, the McLain OG Shoe Art Project also started a phenomenon at McLain.

“Everyone that’s seen is like, ‘Wow, wait a second…that’s bigger than me,'” Christian Sanders said. Sanders is one of the students who worked on the project and said the project helped boost his self-esteem.

“It makes me want to be more creative about certain things that I create and find more ways to get everyone to have a bigger impression or to be more involved or more involved in projects, activities or something like that,” he said.

Carnes said the project was inspired by a student who wanted to paint his own shoes. Soon this idea grew into something bigger than the students expected.

“The students didn’t quite grasp the scope of what the project was going to be, but once it started to grow into this giant thing,” Carnes said.

Carnes and 71 students worked on the shoe. They used cardboard, flour, water and paint for the body and canvas for the laces – it took them 61 days to complete. Since then, the sculpture has already made its first appearance in a museum during Philbrook’s Sneaker Soiree.

“It went to the museum, so I would say that’s a big step,” Sanders said.

It’s a big step that Carnes and others at McLain hope to provide greater opportunities for students. While the students were attending the recent PGA Beyond the Greens event, one of the school’s coaches met a former Nike employee and vice president of the Jordan brand. Since then, they have been in contact with him, hoping he can help connect them with the right sources to get a pair of Jordans for each student as a reward for their hard work.

“Not everyone can afford $200 to $300 shoes, but I believe they put that work through their art that they deserve for me,” said Kim James, social services specialist for McLain .

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