New landscape sculpture at Earth Sanctuary

Posted in More Stories, Visual Art

Sept. 24, 2014

Earth Sanctuary, a sculpture garden and nature reserve on Whidbey Island, has introduced the first in a series of outdoor minimalist sculptures called “Veils of Reality.” Designed by Chuck Pettis, founder of Earth Sanctuary, and his wife Claudia Pettis, a classically trained and award-winning artist, “Veils of Reality” incorporates a reclaimed and transformed sacred object into a contemporary mirror, uniting the magic of Tibetan Buddhism with modern minimalist art.

The “Veils of Reality” minimalist sculpture incorporates a black steel square plate with a multi-layer translucent black fabric. The consecrated steel plate was part of a sacred Tibetan Buddhist fire ceremony conducted by His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya, head lama of Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism at the Earth Sanctuary Buddhist stupa monument. The sculpture juxtaposes opposites to create a balance—the square black ceremonial steel plate with a multi-layer square black fabric. The black fabric square is the opposite of the black plate—the fabric is soft; the steel plate is hard. “The use of paired opposites creates a balancing force that facilitates transcendental experience, that is, the ability to comprehend phenomena that cannot be explained objectively,” said Chuck Pettis. “This principle is integrated into all the sacred spaces at Earth Sanctuary.” Pettis is an expert in sacred spaces and author of the book, “Secrets of Sacred Space.”

According to Claudia Pettis, in minimalist art the artist takes what is less and makes it more. “If we look hard and long at a pure piece of art, we will be looking at ourselves in a new light,” she said. “‘Veils of Reality’ encourages viewers to view their lives with new insight and perspective.”

Chuck Pettis, founder of Earth Sanctuary, created the “Seattle Ley-Line Map,” utilizing a grant won from the Seattle Arts Commission. Ley lines are the energy found at most ancient monuments and sacred places around the world. The map, displaying ley lines that run through Seattle, is part of Seattle City Light’s 1% for Art Portable Works Collection.
Claudia Pettis, classically trained in the techniques of Titian, Rubens and Rembrandt, is an award-winning artist with a loyal following. Her work can be seen at and her gallery, Museo, in Langley.

Earth Sanctuary is a sculpture garden, nature reserve and retreat center located on Whidbey Island. It is a peaceful oasis to enjoy nature and spiritually inspired sculptures with 72 acres of forest, ponds, wetlands, streams, open space and natural Northwest habitat. Its unique art pieces, sculptures and meaningful spiritual symbols include a hedge labyrinth, “Stonehenge” stone circles, Buddhist stupa monument and prayer wheels, megaliths, and authentic Native American medicine wheels.

Earth Sanctuary’s retreat center, a house for overnight and day retreats, is a non-denominational, non-sectarian spiritual haven for relaxation, meditation and peaceful reflection. Earth Sanctuary is open to visitors every day of the year during daylight hours ($7/visitor fee). There are two entrances to Earth Sanctuary: 2059 Newman Road and 5536 Emil Road, Langley.

For more information, visit Earth Sanctuary at Chuck and Claudia Pettis can be reached at 360-331-6667 or at

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