Sentinel & Enterprise: Fitchburg Art Museum hosts expo

FITCHBURG -- Lining the walls were world-class paintings and multiple sculptures of impressive form and execution filled exhibition halls.

No, this wasn't the Louvre or even the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Rather, the impressive artwork is on display at the Fitchburg Art Museum as part of the 77th Regional Exhibition of Art and Craft, which kicked off Sunday morning and features hundreds of pieces from the region.

The exhibition runs through Sept. 2 and features work from artists who live within approximately 40 miles of Fitchburg.

"We've got a lot of great art here and great artists,"

said Jerry Beck, the museum's director of marketing. "It's wonderful to see all this coming from the area. You never know what's in your own backyard and we're lucky to have such great artists. There's a respect for the art and the process and the materials.

"You see so many different styles from these exceptional artists. The art is as good here as anywhere in the country."

Painters and sculptors from central Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire submitted work for the show. Beck noted that even the pieces that didn't make the final cut were outstanding.

"We only have so much room," he said. "The jurors who have to chose what gets in have an incredibly difficult task in front of them."