Panoramic Inquiries

These postcards are a series of exchanges between artist Sara Velas, the founder of the Velaslavasay Panorama, and Kate Clark, artist and Museum Futures co-editor.

Drawing on the illustrious history of the great panorama paintings of the 18th and 19th centuries, The Velaslavasay Panorama is an exhibition hall, theatre and garden dedicated to the production and presentation of unusual visual experiences, including those of the 360-degree variety. Inspired by the panoramic tradition of the 19th century and romanticist painting, the Velaslavasay Panorama (V.P.) is a major work of immersive landscape that transports the viewer to another reality using technologies and traditions that were precursors to cinema.

The Velaslavasay Panorama brings attention to the aesthetic and imaginative value of art forms that have faded since the birth of cinema. Anchored by immersive panorama paintings of the 19th Century, the Velaslavasay is dedicated to the production and presentation of unusual multi-sensory, immersive experiences with a focus on early cinematic phenomena.

Since its founding in Los Angeles in the year 2000, the Velaslavasay has housed the only 360-degree panorama viewing hall west of the Mississippi River. Located in a former tile layers union meeting hall, The Velaslavasay Panorama can be found in University Park in the West Adams Historic District of Los Angeles and is open to the public weekly.


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Sara Velas is an artist, graphic designer, gardener, curator and native Los Angeleno. She is the Director of the Velaslavasay Panorama, a nonprofit museum she established in the year 2000 to present variations on art forms & entertainments popular before the invention of cinema. Velas has traveled around the world to investigate the panoramic art form and is more recently focused on the contemporary creation of panoramas in Asia. In 2014 she was elected Board 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 nation’s first instance of cultural historic protection to a trailer park – the Monterey Trailer Park of Highland Park. In 1999, Velas received her BFA with a major in painting from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.  She was born in Panorama City, California.