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Member Bio

Patrick H. Ela, ASA



Contact Information:
3578 Canon Boulevard
Altadena, CA 91001
View address on a map

1 (626) 791-4919

Appraiser Profile:

Patrick H. Ela- Credentials


Patrick H. Ela is an Accredited Senior Appraiser of the American Society of Appraisers, tested and accredited in Fine Arts.  He provides appraisal services for individual, corporate and institutional clients including Fair Market Value, Market Value and Replacement Value appraisals for estates tax purposes, charitable contributions and insurance coverage among others.  Ela is admitted to the Superior Court of Los Angeles as an expert witness.  Selected clients include: Ricardo Favela and The Royal Chicano Air Force, The Latino Museum of Los Angeles, The Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation, the Los Angeles Unified School District, AltaMed Health Services, CARES (an affiliate of Los Angeles County General Hospital), Self Help Graphics & Art, and many private individuals.


Within the American Society of Appraisers, Ela serves as Chair of the Personal Property Committee (PPC) a position he began in July 2013.  Prior to that Ela served as PPC Vice Chair from 2012-1013 and Treasurer from 2011 to 2012.   In other ASA activities he served as moderator of a panel on Chicano Art at the International Conference of the American Society of Appraisers held in Los Angeles and has written articles on Chicano Art for the PP Magazine. He was appointed to serve as PPC representative on ASA’s legislative committee and was actively involved in securing ASA’s endorsement of the Artist Museum Partnership Act now pending before the US Congress. In may of 2013 he presented a report on this act at Estates, Trusts & Estate Planning for the Personal Property Appraiser, the ASA-sponsored conference in held in Arlington Virginia.



Ela holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Studio Art and Art History from Occidental College,Los Angeles (double major), a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the Anderson School of Management, UCLA with a specialization in Arts Management; and the Certificates of Appraisal Studies and Connoisseurship from UC Irvine, Extension. He has also studied Art History at the graduate level at UCLA and attended four National IRS Symposia on Valuation Issues sponsored by the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Society of Appraisers in which he is an active member.

Related Work Experience

Ela was the Director of the Craft and Folk Art Museum of Los Angles from 1975-1996 where he oversaw or helped organize more than 130 exhibitions, publish more than thirty exhibition catalogs, and facilitated the expansion and growth of the Museum’s library of books, periodicals and ephemera.  At the request of the Board of Trustees and the Cultural Affairs Department of the City of Los Angeles, Ela returned to direct the museum from 2000-2002.  Prior to his tenure at the Craft and Folk Art Museum Ela was a Museum Educator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art from 1974-1975.  He served as the Assistant Director of the Kohler Arts Center in Wisconsin from 1973-1974 and was a curator at Gemini Graphic Editions, Limited in Los Angeles from 1970-1971.  At Gemini, he played an integral curatorial role in the publishing and distribution of fine art, limited edition graphics working directly with artists like Sam Francis, David Hockney, Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg and Frank Stella, among others.



 Ela has been an art advisor and consultant in Southern California since 1984.  In that capacity he has organized more than 140 exhibitions of contemporary art for museums, art centers, corporations, institutions and commercial galleries including several on the collections of graphic publishers or ateliers--Cirrus Editions, Gemini GEL, Modern Multiples and Self-Help Graphics and Art. He organized Conversations, an exhibition of art and science for the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County featuring the work of Kim Abeles, Lita Albuquerque, Tony Berlant, Phyllis Ginter, Paul McCarthy, Ed Moses and John Valadez.   In late 2009, he organized Almaraz: Legacy at the Fremont Gallery in South Pasadena.  Recently, he organized Illuminations, featuring the work of Elsa Flores at the same gallery.

Ela has worked in the public art sector as a consultant since 1994.  Comprehensive Art Services, Ela’s firm, provides art-related program and project management for corporate, institutional and government clients. The firm has extensive experience in the planning and implementation of public art programs and design team-planning projects. Ela regularly consults with developers, architects, art selection panels and artists and facilitates the management of artists and creative individuals. 

Community Involvement

Ela has served on the Boards of various museums, cultural and educational institutions for more than 32 years.  These include Plaza de la Raza where he served from 1994-2012; the Craft and Folk Art Museum of Los Angeles where he served as Chairman (1998-2002), Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation  (1994-2010), The Millicent Rogers Museum, Taos, New Mexico (1994-2001); the Friends of the Schindler House, Los Angeles, which is now part of the Museum für Angewandte Kunst (MAK) in Vienna, Austria (1982-84); The Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau where he was a Board Member and President of the Cultural Travel Committee (1995-1996), and Occidental College, Los Angeles where he was an ex officio Trustee during his tenure as President of the Alumni Board of Governors (1979-80).  He has been a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Cultural Innovation since it’s founding in 2001.  Ela has served on numerous grant panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, Institute of Museum Services, California Arts Council, The Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department and The Center for Cultural Innovation, among others.   From 2002-2006 he served as a member of the North Hollywood Public Art Advisory Panel for the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles.

 Teaching, Presentations and Publications

Ela has taught courses in Art and Society at Occidental College, Museum Studies at California State University, Fullerton and Long Range Planning for Museums at John F. Kennedy University.  He has lectured at UCLA and California State University Long Beach, and has taught courses for the Center for Cultural Innovation in Los Angeles for the past twelve years.  He has spoken at conferences for the American Crafts Council, in Oakland CA, the Crafts Asia Conference in New Delhi, India for the Indo-US Sub-commission, and the Malaysian Handcraft Development Corporation in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia courtesy of the US State Department.  He has contributed to several magazines including Museum (UNESCO) and Museum News (AAM) and served as an editor of craft entries for World Book Encyclopedia while serving as Director of the Craft and Folk Art Museum.


 Ela has traveled in professional contexts to Asia (India, Japan and Malaysia), Africa (Egypt, Morocco, South Africa and Zimbabwe), the Middle East (Egypt and Jordan), Latin America (Argentina, Chile, Cuba, Mexico and Puerto Rico), Europe (Austria, England, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Scandinavia, Spain, Switzerland and Yugoslavia, among others) and throughout the United States and Canada.  On many of these trips he has lectured, advised patrons, clients and associates or negotiated programs and business transactions.  He speaks Spanish and German.  He and his wife, Phyllis, live in Altadena, California.

Revised November 2013