Saratoga, Calif., October 3, 2023—West Valley College will be celebrating the opening of the new Visual Arts Building with a grand opening celebration on Friday, October 27, 2023. The public event celebrates the new facilities and the learning opportunities it provides West Valley College students while also honoring the community of supporters who helped fund the building through the passing of Bond Measures C and W.
“The new Visual Arts Building is the result of a rigorous facilities master planning process with every facet of design focused on increasing student learning and outcomes,” says West Valley-Mission Community College District Chancellor Bradley Davis. “We can’t express the deep appreciation we have to our local community of taxpayers who showed their support for the college and their shared value in the power of education.”
A design collaboration between Mark Cavagnero Associates and TLCD Architecture, the new Visual Arts Building at West Valley College’s Cilker School of Art and Design transforms a quiet quadrant of the lush 143-acre Saratoga campus into a vibrant hub for art students and the greater college community. Nestled among oaks and redwoods, the 20,000 square-foot building promotes interaction between the activities inside and the natural surroundings, featuring generously glazed curtainwalls and exterior circulation shaded by louvred canopies.
“West Valley College offers a premier education to all students, and we pride ourselves on being the destination of choice for students in the Bay Area as they begin their educational, career, and personal journeys,” says West Valley College President, Dr. Jennifer Taylor-Mendoza. “Having facilities that support our mission of educating students is essential and we are so excited that our students this fall can utilize our new Visual Arts Building to enhance their arts studies.”
Located on a heavily wooded sloped site, the building is carefully threaded among existing trees, allowing the natural setting to permeate the interior while prioritizing flexible spaces throughout to support the College’s diverse art curriculum. The hilly site made possible a double-height gallery space and an adaptable studio, which serves as an extension of the gallery, a public meeting room, or collaborative project space. The integrated layout of the metal/woodworking shop and kiln/foundry area further supports the studio curriculum. Five sunlit art studios, which wrap around a central courtyard anchored by a heritage oak tree, are connected, and have direct access to covered outdoor spaces for expanded use. The exterior plaza encourages cross-pollination of disciplines and stimulates creative exchange among students.
“The new Visual Arts Building personifies West Valley College’s commitment to the arts. It is a light-filled space where the lines between inside and outside merge, offering students an unparalleled sanctuary to absorb their education and express their creativity,” says Shannon Price, Dean of the Cilker School of Art and Design. “I have visited public and private art schools all over the world and these facilities rival them all. I am incredibly proud that we can offer an affordable education in the arts to our students with world class faculty in a brand-new state-of-the-art building.”
The grand opening celebration begins at 9:30 a.m. with an official program including a land acknowledgement, speakers from across the college community, a ribbon cutting ceremony, hands-on arts workshops, art installations on display, a hosted lunch, and building tours from 1-3 p.m. The event closes with a special artist talk by Content Magazine at 5:30 p.m. For more details and information visit: westvalley.edu/visual-arts-opening
For information about West Valley’s Cilker School of Art and Design visit: westvalley.edu/schools/art-design/