Megan Morehouse with her mosaic for the Fort Seward Outdoor Art Project. (Emily Files)

Megan Morehouse with her mosaic for the Fort Seward Outdoor Art Project. (Emily Files)

When the tide is low on the Chilkat River, you can see a twisting, distinctive pattern of water, rocks and sand. Haines artist Megan Morehouse created a mosaic of the Chilkat River at low tide using materials she found beachcombing. Morehouse is one of more than a dozen local artists participating the Alaska Arts Confluences’ Fort Seward Outdoor Art Project.


Her mosaic is made up of mussel shells and driftwood.

“The mussel shell part represents the water and the driftwood is the sand or the flats. I have a view of the flats out there – at high tide it looks like a river and at low tide you can see the sand bars, so that’s where I get my inspiration.”

Morehouse starting using materials she found on the beach in her artwork only after moving to Haines.

“I would just sit there and look at all this beautiful stuff, the rocks, the sand, the driftwood, so much stuff that’s right there to work with. And when I first moved here I was paying off my credit card debt so it was convenient to find free resources down there on the beach to make art with. So that’s really why I started doing it.”


She says aside from influencing the materials she uses, Haines has influenced her artwork as a whole.

“Before I moved here, I didn’t really have a lot of time for art as a job or a source of income. And I do think Haines is very inspirational place. So many parts of it are untouched by human hands and it’s just in its purest state, that I draw inspiration from that for sure.”

The Chilkat River mosaic represents the waters around the Haines area, Morehouse says, “and the beauty that comes from them.”

The Fort Seward Outdoor Art Project is funded by a grant from the ArtPlace America Foundation.

Other Artist Profiles:

John Svenson with his in-progress mosaic. (Emily Files)

John Svenson

John Hagen with a print of his photograph that will be blown up and displayed at Port Chilkoot dock. (Emily Files)

John Hagen

Katie Craney painting on a rusted boiler door on the Fort Seward barracks ruins. (Emily Files)

Katie Craney

Dave Pahl and 'The Tank with the Crank.' (Jillian Rogers)

Dave Pahl

Andrea Nelson is using scrap metal salvaged from the barracks and installing it on the wall to her right. (Emily Files)

Andrea Nelson

Jeff Moskowitz uses Adobe Illustrator to digitally recreate a map from 1905. (Emily Files)

Jeff Moskowitz

Gene Kennedy welds re-bar into the shape of a dog. (Emily Files)

Gene Kennedy

Debi Knight Kennedy holds pieces of her found object sculpture.

Debi Knight Kennedy

Donna Catotti painting Tlingit regalia for the Fort Seward art project.

Donna Catotti