Alumni Stories: “Where Are They Now?”

Good Surprises

Mattaya Fitts can’t imagine herself not painting. (Photo by Ally Schmaling)

“I thought, this is not it — I’m just not meant to be a painter.”

“Maybe you were just a perfectionist,” I chime in.

Teenage Mattaya worked in the Photo Studio.
A photo from Mattaya’s photo essay, which explored her biracial identity.

“We all had our own photo essays and I was able to present at the ICA one night. At any age, that’s amazing.”

Mattaya was surprised she won the Sun Life Financial Award after AFH nominated Mattaya for her noteworthy work and leadership. The extravagant way in which AFH revealed the news made it no less astonishing.

Susan Rodgerson, Founder; Mattaya Fitts; and Dana Mancini, Sun Life Financial Regional Vice President with Cirque Du Soleil acrobats. (Photo by Wicked Local)

“As I felt myself working on things that have nothing to do with art, even working in marketing, there was always this pull to come back to it.”

“Into the Wild“ and “Untitled 4”, acrylic and spray paint on canvas.
“Untitled 1” and “Fireflies”, acrylic and spray paint on canvas.
AFH mural with Mattaya at Sportsmen’s Tennis and Enrichment Center in Dorchester.

“If you asked me as a teenager to try to do something like plan and lead a mural project, I would be terrified! Now, it’s exciting.”

Mattaya also thoroughly enjoys working with the teens in AFH’s Painting Studio and is continuously impressed with their skill and talent. “The teens are fun to work with!” she said. “They are creating some awesome and refreshing work.”

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