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Inspiration Lives at V. Lala Galleries

August 31, 2015 by Audrey Johnson

Creative energy pours out of Velia Lala. Walk into her gallery and you can feel it. The energy bouces off the walls in her space at 30Avenue in Inlet Beach. Velia reaches her peak creative time around 2 p.m. and goes late into the night, shutting down her studio around 1 a.m.


Velia’s latest work in progress is Metallica Underground – a testament to the influence music has on her work. As she cranks up some metal, she takes found objects and affixes them to an 8 ft. x 3 ft. canvas.

“We use anything and everything we can find. We don’t throw away anything,” she said. “13’s my lucky number so that’s always somewhere.”

Other found objects include a small cherub, pieces of a computer motherboard, corrugated cardboard, a paint brush that’s going to turn metallic, a snaffle bit and an award for salesperson of the year. That’s Velia. A little bit of everything wrapped into one. The whole package with a heart of gold.

Velia is hosting two major charity events at V. Lala Galleries this fall. The inaugural Wiggin’ Out for a Cause benefitting Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center is going down Oct. 1 from 6-10 p.m. It’s slated to be an outrageous girl’s night out, complete with a mystery bag filled with a wig and accessories and professional hair and make-up artists to help channel your inner diva.

Guests will enjoy wine and cocktails to fuel their karaoke courage as photographers capture every glorious moment. And since Velia’s involved, it’s likely to top the list of the most fun moments you’ve ever had. Tix are $125 per person at www.eccac.org or call 850-833-9237 ext. 256. One of the door prizes is a life casting session with Velia worth $5,000.

Not only is Velia hosting the 3rd annual Art of Giving at her gallery, she’s also donating 15 pieces of her original art to Food For Thought’s signature fundraiser. On Thursday, Sept. 17 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Velia and fellow artists Matt Lyons and Marisol Gullo will auction off their work to help feed school children in need. Guests will enjoy cocktails, tapas and the sounds of Chris Alvarado. Tickets are $50 at www.fftfl.org.

Besides hosting fabulous charity events, Velia rents her space for wedding receptions and other special events. Movable walls and curtains make it easy to configure the 1,700 sq. ft. space as needed, while floor to ceiling windows and original art provide the perfect backdrop for a special evening. The artist spent months learning the three-part process that makes her painted concrete floors look like a swirling vortex of abstract creativity.

“You’re literally walking on my art,” she said.


Velia teaches art classes in her Creation Lounge studio and themes range from Parents Night Out to Mystery Dinners to special techniques. Check out the class schedule at www.vlalagalleries.com/creation-lounge or contact the gallery to create your own party. The gallery has a modern kitchen for catering and a license for beverage service to accommodate groups.


Recently, the prolific artist began work on a yearlong project depicting life castings of wounded warriors that she is calling The Uniform Uncovered.

“My sculptures are some of my favorite things,” she said. “I love my life castings.”

All products are put on a live body and the subject has to sit, stand or lay in one position for 1.5 hours to let the casting harden. Combat veterans and first responders will be represented in the project in scenes that depict what they went through. The installation will be unveiled next year and proceeds from the event will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project and Hope for Warriors.

Velia is inspired by hearing other people’s stories, such as the runner in the Creation Lounge who’s now husband was waiting for her at the finish line, down on one knee with a dozen roses and a rock. Or somebody who gets her art and the feeling she’s trying to capture. And that feeling and mood changes over the course of a project.

“It can start off dark and change to light over the course of days or weeks depending on music or mood,” Velia said. “I make things to show how I feel or to try and change it.”


Audrey Johnson's picture

Upon realizing that life is too short not to follow her dreams, Audrey moved to the beach and became a writer. SoWal’s pristine beaches inspire her to explore further, look deeper, and do better.

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