The Cilker School of Art and Design 2022

The Cilker School of Art and Design has developed a world-class community college of art and design that exposes students to cutting-edge technology and critical thinking.

The school offers interdisciplinary opportunities in architecture and drafting technology, engineering, fashion design, interior design, paralegal studies, healthcare, and park management with three departments—Visual Arts, Design and Architecture, and the Performing Arts.

The West Valley College Art Department offers courses in various topics and media, including art history, ceramics, computer arts and animation, design, drawing, painting, photography, and sculpture. Art Department facilities include a bronze foundry, state-of-the-art computer labs and lecture halls, ceramics, painting, and drawing studios. And offer programs in animation and computer art, drawing and painting (including color and design), photography, sculpture and ceramics, and art history.

The Department of Design offers programs that embrace design as both a process and a vehicle to make a positive and meaningful impact on people’s lives and society. With a focus on architecture and landscape, architecture, communications design (digital media, graphic design, UX), fashion design and apparel technology, and interior design.

The Performing Arts Department includes emphasis on two general areas, music and dance and theater and film.  

In this issue, we featured six notable students from the various disciplines of The Cilker School of Art and Design as they move forward in their craft and careers. In addition, we’d like to introduce you to the Dean of the Cilker School, Shannon Price, to hear her journey and the goal of this ambitious West Valley College program.


Anat Baird

Anat Baird has been involved in theater arts since she was in middle school, when she fell in love with performing in community children’s theater. Since then, she has taken voice lessons and participated in school productions. She started attending West Valley College in 2019 and joined the recently formed drama club that, unfortunately, didn’t continue after the pandemic hit. When classes went back to in-person, Anat reached out to the department leader, Laura Lowry, to revive the club. Since then, Anat has been the president of the West Valley Drama Club for the last two semesters. On top of that, Anat performed on mainstage and studio productions at West Valley and, over the summer, directed a children’s musical. On the side, she teaches private voice lessons. Anat plans on graduating this spring and transferring to a four-year university next fall.

Instagram: anatbaird


Fashion Design
Frances Cooke

Frances has been making things since before she can remember, and textiles and clothing have a special place in her heart. When she had the chance to return to making things after a long hiatus, she chose to start with the patternmaking class at Cilker School of Design, and there was no going back. An aspiring technical designer, she enjoys the nitty-gritty of production as much as design and has a passion for repair and repurposing of clothing. After taking classes all over the Bay Area and a stint as an alterations tailor, she came back to Cilker to complete her fashion design degree. Her time at West Valley has given her the foundational skills to go on and co-found the postpartum clothing label Maia Mothers, for which she leads design, product development, and production.

Instagram: franceslcooke 


Kate Kanemura

Kate has always loved creating art, using whatever materials she could get her hands on. She enjoys planning different creative concepts and talking with her friends about her creative ideas. Kate has used numerous artistic mediums, from traditional graphite pencil and charcoal to ceramics and digital media. She strives to achieve the title “Jack of all trades” by experimenting with new styles and ways to express herself. Disney movies and shows were a crucial part of her childhood, and Kate has become interested in animation. Kate aspires to learn as much as she can about different forms of art and to work for a major animation studio in California. Her collection includes multiple experimental pieces to help craft her own unique style and try new things.

Instagram: k.squared_art


Interior Design
Orit Avinoon-Metz

A graduating interior design student from West Valley College, Orit Avinoon-Metz brings her native Israeli roots to her California-inspired designs. She finds inspiration in her memories of her homeland, whether of the unique spring wildflowers or the color schemes that combine the Mediterranean Sea with a desert landscape. She incorporates this inspiration into modern living, creating spaces that are both unique and practical. When her kids got to school age, and the thoughts of getting back to work surfaced, Orit decided to follow her long-time dream and passion and embark on a career in interior design, leaving behind a successful career as a chemical engineer in pharmaceuticals. She looks forward to many years of creating beautiful spaces.


Spatial Artist
Sarah Kissinger

Sarah has always been interested in creating pieces using solid colors and strong shapes to create images with a clear focus. She loves jumping between different media and inspirations to create pieces that are thought provoking and enjoyable to look at. She believes art should not be held down to represent an exact movement or statement, but rather created for enjoyment. Sarah is particularly inspired to repurpose materials such as cardboard, PVC pipe, and scraps of wood. She also loves drawing inspiration from sources that would not traditionally be considered artistic. Sarah hopes to one day use her skills to become a prop maker for film and television.

Instagram: sadnspicy


Digital Media/Animation 
Sienna Hopper

Sienna is a queer artist who found graphic design during a time in her life when she felt isolated from the world. Having dealt with social anxiety for a large portion of her upbringing, Sienna had trouble fully communicating her thoughts and feelings. She knew what she wanted to say, but vocalizing these messages was a struggle. However, in her junior year of high school, she finally found an outlet that did more than just give her a voice; it gave her a mission. Graphic design allowed Sienna to be the author of her dreams—building and telling stories through visual means. Today, she strives to tell the stories of others who struggle to have their voices heard.

Instagram: only_irose
Instagram: wvccilkersoad