Sara Velas is an artist, graphic designer, gardener, curator and native Los Angeleno. She is the Artistic Director of the Velaslavasay Panorama, a nonprofit museum and garden she established in the year 2000 to present variations on art forms & entertainments popular before the invention of cinema.
Ms. Velas has traveled around the world to investigate the panoramic art form and for over the past decade has been focused on researching the contemporary creation of panoramas in Asia. In June of 2019 she unveiled Shengjing Panorama - the first ever US><China Collaborative 360-degree panorama.
From 2014-2017 and in 2020-2023 she served as the President of the International Panorama Council, which meets annually to discuss the panoramic medium both historically and in a contemporary context. An avid architectural preservationist, she co-wrote the nomination which gave the USA’s first instance of cultural historic protection to a trailer park – the Monterey Trailer Park of Highland Park. Sara Velas is a member of the Los Angeles Breakfast Club.
Her work with the Velaslavasay Panorama has been supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the United States National Endowment for the Arts, California Community Foundation, the LA County Arts Commission and the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, among others.
Ms. Velas has participated in residency programs at locations around the world including the Cite des Arts in Paris, France and the Bali Purnati Center for the Arts in Indonesia and was in Jogjakarta when Mt. Kelud erupted in February 2014. Born in Panorama City, California, she received her BFA in Painting from Washington University School of Art in Saint Louis, Missouri and resides in downtown Los Angeles.
Portrait © Val Dostalek