The Sea Ranch Chapel Art Challenge

The Sea Ranch Chapel Foundation

Non-juried exhibit

Opening Reception: Friday, April 10 at 5:00 p.m.; exhibit remains through April 26, 2015

Coleman Auditorium


The Sea Ranch Chapel Foundation is sponsoring a non-juried show open to all Mendonoma Artists. The purpose of the exhibit is to showcase outstanding visual art without regard to the type of media. This show is a celebration of the Chapel’s 30th Birthday. The show will be looking for art that focuses on the Chapel and the gift that it is to our community.

The Sea Ranch Chapel

The exhibit will feature work that can be representative, but also seeks to encourage artists’ designs that reflect the feelings The Sea Ranch Chapel invokes. It can be an image of the chapel or it may be art that goes above and beyond representational art to recognize the unique form of the chapel. Artists are encouraged to visit the Chapel to see and feel this sacred space, its colors, textures, shapes and forms in nature.

The Sea Ranch Chapel is truly a gift to the visual and tactile senses. Its exterior and interior reflect the natural world as it integrates art, craft and architecture. There is much to inspire the artist in this unusual sacred building.

The Chapel’s interior plaster ceiling is lined with a gently sculpted flower form which hovers over the inner space. Drifting amongst the petals of the carved ceiling are embedded sea shells and sea urchins from our local sea shore. The stained glass windows are a dazzling wash of color and swirling form. From dawn to sunset, these jewel toned windows capture the golden light surrounding the Chapel.

The bronze roof spire points to the sky and stars and reflects the windblown patterns seen in nature surrounding the Chapel site, echoing the natural forms of redwood, cypress, pine and madrone. The windswept conical roof of the Chapel is made of cedar shingles applied in a flowing pattern to conform to the roof’s unique shape. The rough, natural boulders form the foundation for the shell-like form of the chapel anchoring it to earth. The stones used in the walls of the Chapel interior are from surrounding hillside and meadow areas. These stones appear on the external walls as well.

This is the “Kick Off” event for the Chapel weekend programs, which include:

Saturday, April 11

  • Preregistered special docent-led tours of the Sea Ranch Chapel from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Preregistered Sea Ranch Forum presentation featuring James Hubbell and other Chapel artists – 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Del Mar Center with a reception to follow.

Sunday, April 12

  • Preregistered sacred vow renewal at the Sea Ranch Chapel at 1:00 p.m. with a reception to follow at the Del Mar Center.

For further information on the Chapel celebrations please contact Marcia Nybakken at or visit The Sea Ranch Association website.

The Sea Ranch Chapel
Jewel-toned light from the three stained glass windows dapples the natural stone floor. Inlaid in the floor’s center, an Italian inspired floral mosaic echoes the curvilinear lines of the flower form from the ceiling above. Beautiful hand carved benches by a local artist provide seating inside this intimate interior space.

A Brief Chapel Biography

The chapel is open daily to the public from sunrise to sunset. The grounds surrounding the chapel as well as the structure itself were gifts of the Sea Ranch residents Robert and Betty Buffum. Upon its completion in December of 1985, the Chapel was dedicated in memory of Kirk Ditzler, a Navy aviator, zoologist and artist. Patricia and Lyle Ditzler, long time Sea Ranch residents and dear friends of the Buffums, were involved in the design of the Chapel. The Chapel Foundation was implemented for the continued care and maintenance of the Chapel and its grounds.

Chapel Construction

James Hubbell, artist and architectural designer, is the creative genius who combined local materials with gifted local contractors, craftsman and artisans. The list of local artisans who built the Chapel is impressive. A labor of love, the Chapel took nine months to complete. Hubbell assembled a team of professionals to realize his design. Through a model and sketches, these artists created the unique and one of a kind construction that is our Chapel.

The Sea Ranch Chapel

Quilt Raffle

There will also be a quilt raffle to benefit The Sea Ranch Chapel Foundation. A handmade quilt by Donna Blum will be awarded to the winner of the drawing that will be held at the opening reception. The quilt is machine pieced and hand beaded with glass and Chrystal beads. It measures 27″ by 22″. The fabrics are all cotton and are hand dyed and commercial fabrics. Tickets are $2 each or six for $10, and can be purchased the night of the opening or through Chapel Board Members.

Sea Ranch Chapel quilt for raffle
Sea Ranch Chapel quilt for raffle


Download  The Sea Ranch Chapel Art Challenge registration form

Deadline is March 8, 2015