Artist Joseph Adamek, copyright 2014 Ramey Elliot.

Presentation + Panorama Viewing: Sara Velas

March 31, 2015
9-11a and 1:30-3:30p
Lewis Center, 721 Kingsland Ave.

As part of a special session on the medium of panoramas for the Extra Dimensional Printmaking class taught by Paula Wilson (BFA98, Louis D. Beaumont Artist in Residence), visiting artist and curator Sara Velas and St. Louis resident Ramey Elliot will unroll a canvas depicting Monk's Mound (Cahokia), which has not been on view for decades. The 7-foot by 20-foot painting was given to Elliot's family, who once owned farmland at the Cahokia Mounds site before it became a UNESCO World Heritage site. The panel has been signed by Joseph Adamek, a painter who immigrated to St. Louis from Bohemia and worked as a scenic artist for more than 25 years, designing scenery for the St. Louis Municipal Opera in Forest Park. The painting is a section of a moving panorama, an art form by which a canvas was scrolled before an audience with live narration.

There are two opportunities on March 31 to hear Velas' presentation on The Velaslavasay Panorama & Survival Through Benign Neglect and view the Adamek panorama: in the morning (from 9-11a) and in the afternoon (from 1:30-3:30p). While these events are free and open to the public, RSVPs are required by Sunday, March 29. RSVP to Wilson at; be sure to write "PANORAMA" in the subject line and indicate whether you'd like to attend the morning or afternoon session.

About Sara Velas

Sara Velas (BFA99, 2009 recipient of the Sam Fox School's Young Alumni Award) is the founder and director of The Velaslavasay Panorama, a nonprofit museum in Los Angeles that presents precinematic phenomena and other traditional art forms to the public. Currently celebrating its fifteen-year anniversary, the institution makes its home in one of Los Angeles' earliest neighborhood film theatres (built in 1915) and maintains a lush tropical garden while offering a variety of exhibits, including the 360-degree arctic panorama "Effulgence of the North" and the 270-foot long moving panorama "The Grand Moving Mirror of California." Velas has travelled around the world to investigate this unique art form, recently visiting Northeast (Dongbei) China to meet with companies and schools involved in the contemporary creation of panoramas.

In September 2014, Velas was elected president of the International Panorama Council, which promotes conservation of heritage panoramas dating from the 19th and early 20th century. The first American to hold this position, Velas is also the first woman and artist to lead the organization, which meets annually to discuss the medium's current relevance and development.

About Ramey Elliot

Ramey Elliot is an award-winning director of photography and digital cinematographer with over 30 years of experience, having worked with ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox News as well as NHK, Israeli, and Taiwan Television. He spent a semester at WUSTL in 1967 studying engineering. Elliot shifted his focus soon after attending WUSTL and was selected to study motion picture and television production in Paris, France, in an accelerated program at the Hermes Institute with Robert Bresson and Georges Franju at the Cinematheque Francais. Upon his return to the United States, he began applying his craft in work for Fortune 500 companies as well as the television networks.

Elliot initially contacted Velas to find out more about how the panorama medium had flourished throughout the 19th century.