Megan Chalfant. Courtesy image.

Megan Chalfant. Courtesy image.

From Indiana to Juneau: Megan Chalfant

After Megan Chalfant graduated college, she moved from Indiana to Juneau to pursue art.

Juneau was on the map for her because as she grew up, she routinely visited the capital city to see extended family. While here, she took note of the art scene.

“There’s so much public art around and people really support local artists,” Chalfant said. “You see it in businesses; you see it in homes. I’ve always been really drawn to the aesthetic of the art here and this kind of blending of cultural influences and natural influences. People kind of coming from all over really appealed to me.”

Juneau was “fertile soil,” an opportune place to explore her art in a community of other artists and those who support them. One such opportunity came when she started working at Coppa, a local coffee shop. Marc Wheeler offered to display her work for one of the First Friday showings. While she normally draws and paints, she had also been experimenting with multi-media collage. Not only does she use found imagery and paper, but painting, drawing and printmaking for her collages.

“I love working with (multi-media collage) because when I feel like the piece needs something or I want to add something but it’s not working in one medium you can turn to another medium and find it there,” she said.

For her show on March’s First Friday, she created eight pieces, in which she explored her experience of moving to Juneau and her growth as an artist.

“I left a lot of things I loved back in Indiana. I knew I was coming to Juneau to discover a lot of things that I was certain that I would love just as much, but it was a big decision,” she said. “…It’s been wonderful but also challenging. I’m amazed and inspired by the people I’ve met here and some of the experiences I’ve had. I felt like I was growing so much and felt the need to process this and say (a) sort of thank you as well for the experiences I’ve had.”

Her show at Coppa can be seen through the month of March.

After Chalfant got a studio space here in town, the first time she had such a space since college, she found inspiration in Juneau’s scenery, community, and culture. It was a “pleasant affirmation” that art is something she’s really passionate about. Like anyone, she’s had her doubts and insecurities about her work.

“It hasn’t always been easy to motivate myself to make art. Sometimes I go to the studio and go ‘This is all terrible. What do I do? I want to throw everything away!’” Chalfant said.

A few months ago, she voiced this concern to her mother who shared a section of a book about the life of artist Georgia O’Keeffe, who has been recognized as the “Mother of American modernism.”

“As a living artist, she experienced a fair amount of success and notoriety. She said she felt like she was walking this line ‘Am I an artist or am I not?’ If she (felt) that way then you can kind of persevere through that doubt – what beautiful work can be created from that? That just really gave me encouragement and inspiration,” she said. “I don’t have to be certain 100 percent of the time to create work that I love … and share that with other people.”

One of the ways Chalfant shares is by teaching at the Canvas Community Art Studio and at the Color Wheel Arts community studio. She’s offered cookbook illustration, drawing with Sumi ink, and upcoming, a class on multi-media collage. In this class Chalfant will have participants develop an image with Sumi ink, watercolors and collage techniques, teaching them about composition, color dynamics, and focal point. It’ll take place on Saturday, March 24 and 31, 9 a.m.-noon. Costs $119 and this covers materials. Those interested should call Color Wheel Arts at (907) 209-7173 to register or learn more.

To see more of Chalfant’s work, go to:

• Clara Miller is the editor of the Capital City Weekly. She can be reached at

“Perseverance” oil painting by Megan Chalfant. Courtesy image.

“Perseverance” oil painting by Megan Chalfant. Courtesy image.

“Heart of Stone/Flesh” oil painting by Megan Chalfant. Courtesy image.

“Heart of Stone/Flesh” oil painting by Megan Chalfant. Courtesy image.

“The Faces” collage art by Megan Chalfant. Courtesy image.

“The Faces” collage art by Megan Chalfant. Courtesy image.

“Traveler” collage art by Megan Chalfant. Courtesy image.

“Traveler” collage art by Megan Chalfant. Courtesy image.

“We’ll Just Have to Wait and See” collage by Megan Chalfant. Courtesy image.

“We’ll Just Have to Wait and See” collage by Megan Chalfant. Courtesy image.

More in Neighbors

Finished chocolate apricot bars just out of the oven. (Photo by Patty Schied)
Cooking for Pleasure: Decadent chocolate apricot bars

I love apricots. I prefer fresh to dried, but I am happy… Continue reading

Fred La Plante is the pastor at the Juneau Church of the Nazarene. (Courtesy / Fred La Plante)
Living and Growing: The Christian season of Lent

This week began the Christian celebration of Lent. Lent is typically a… Continue reading

Joslyn Unger’s winning submission to the 2023 Alaska Fish Heritage Award, part of the Wildlife Forever Fish Art Contest. (Courtesy U.S. Forest Service)
Neighbors briefs

Alaska Fish Heritage Contest seeking entries from young artists Alaska Fish Heritage… Continue reading

An image from the cover of the book “Sah Quah.” (Courtesy Sealaska Heritage Institute)
Neighbors: SHI publishes book on slavery in Alaska that endured after federal abolishment

Book explores Haida man’s quest for freedom that ended slavery in Alaska

Students in the Juneau Alaska Music Matters program perform for members of the Alaska Legislature and other attendees at an event Feb. 6 at the Alaska State Museum. (Photo by Emily Ferry)
Neighbors: Juneau Alaska Music Matters program receives state and national awards

For over 20 years Lorrie Heagy has been leading arts education integration… Continue reading

Maj. Gina Halverson is co-leader of The Salvation Army Juneau Corps. (Robert DeBerry/The Salvation Army)
Living and Growing: How well have you loved lately?

Patient: Waiting without getting irritated in the car, waiting for family to… Continue reading

Participants perform in the 2023 Juneau’s Got Talent competition. (Juneau Dance Theater photo)
Neighbors briefs

11 acts scheduled to perform Saturday in 7th annual Juneau’s Got Talent… Continue reading

Pouring sauce over finished rockfish. (Photo by Patricia Schied)
Cooking for Pleasure: Alaska Rockfish for dinner

The halibut and salmon being sold right now are superb, delicious fish.… Continue reading

John Martin’s painting “Fallen Angels in Hell,” circa 1841. (Public domain via The Yorck Project)
Living and Growing: Rethinking Hell?

Does a merciful God really torture unbelievers, forever? Now, more than ever,… Continue reading

(Photo courtesy of the Sealaska Heritage Institute)
Neighbors: SHI, stakeholders to develop first-ever Alaska Native language reading standards

Two virtual meetings scheduled next week to consult with Alaskans statewide.

A newspaper clipping showing convicted serial killer Ed Slomke, who went as Ed Krause in Alaska.
Neighbors: Death with Dessert examines Alaska’s first serial killer

Edward Slomke killed at least seven men in Southeast Alaska. He may… Continue reading