For Christine Maiato Fitzgerald, art is transformative

Multimedia artist Christine Maiato Fitzgerald credits meditation and yoga for helping her overcome life’s many challenges, particularly a difficult divorce.

“When I was going through everything I was going through 13 years ago, yoga and meditation saved me. I know that sounds kind of corny, but it’s very true,” she said. “On a good day, I would be able to do yoga and meditate, so I think that definitely those two practices inform my work. If you look at some pieces, you can tell they’re tranquil or calming or others are not, so it’s really two ends of the spectrum.”

Creating art is a transformative process for Maiato Fitzgerald, who was born and raised in New Bedford. She transfers her experiences onto canvas, releasing emotions and finding serenity in the process of layering and removing material on canvas. 

Artist Christine Maiato Fitzgerald in her home artist studio in Dartmouth. Credit: David Walega / The New Bedford Light

“The process of going through the steps and releasing whatever that so-called bad event that took place in my life … I’m releasing it on that canvas and just leaving it there,” she said.

The painful divorce inspired a series of photographs titled “Retribution Refuse.”

“Each photograph represents a specific moment in that journey, allowing viewers to connect with their own experiences of pain and healing,” Maiato Fitzgerald said. 

She describes this process of evolution as the “post-traumatic growth” effect, where adversity leads to personal transformation and the emergence of a more authentic self.

Her artistic expression also draws from recent emotional struggles, such as those experienced during the pandemic. One painting, titled “Agniesz,” meaning “nervousness” or “anxiety” in Portuguese, captures the unsettling emotions she grappled with during this time.

“If you look at that painting, I’ve had people tell me, ‘I don’t like the way that feels’, which is great because that’s how I was feeling. It doesn’t mean that’s how someone else is feeling, but that particular painting, I got the reaction that I wanted to.”

Through her art, Maiato communicates not only pain but also the journey of transformation, inviting viewers to witness the power of resilience and healing.

David Walega is a photojournalist from the South Coast whose work has appeared in publications around the world. Email him at


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