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UCLA

A Foot in the Door

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By Andriana Trang '12

Published Apr 1, 2011 8:00 AM


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Students designing for Study Footwear. Photo from The Daily Bruin.

Her title as the Cultural Affairs Commission Art Series director is a mouthful, but what Kelsey Mitchell '12 works to accomplish is much simpler: educational entertainment, or, as she calls it, "educainment." The concept fuels her work to curate the Kerckhoff Art Gallery and bring the arts and culture to campus — with a twist.

Mitchell's latest brainchild is a collaboration with Study Footwear, a local Los Angeles shoe company. The competition calls for UCLA students to submit shoe designs to be evaluated by the Study Footwear design team. The winner has a three-month internship opportunity with the company, and the winning design will be featured in the Holiday 2011 Study Collection.

After hearing of the company through her friend, Mitchell found Study Footwear has a mission in line with her own goals of encouraging arts and education among Los Angeles youth.

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"He told me of this TOMS-esque, one-for-one type of shoe company," says Mitchell, referring to TOMS Shoes, the socially conscious company that donates a pair of shoes to a child in need for each pair bought. "Part of the proceeds from each sale benefits the arts programs in L.A. schools."

Branded as a product with a purpose, Study Footwear donates Study-branded art supplies to art departments at deserving schools in Los Angeles.

A showcase of re-energized student focus on promoting the arts and culture, this partnership is an extension of Mitchell's concentrated push for student art to be featured in the Kerckhoff Art Gallery.

"An art gallery doesn't have to be a static place that you look at — it can be an interactive place," she enthuses. "You can take part in the art gallery."

Plans are forthcoming for a student photography exhibit, as well as a sustainability exhibit with "reclaimed" furniture.

As for the winner of the Study Footwear competition, with more than 50 designs submitted, it seems like her projects are taking root on campus.

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