FAIRFIELD — It was a happy reception for one area artist who proved herself to be very popular in town.

Pequot Library hosted the opening reception for Joyce Grasso’s “Coastal Expressions” exhibit Thursday night — a collection of expressionist paintings and collages celebrating the Stamford-based artist’s home state of Maine.

Grasso was last year’s winner of the library’s juried show and, as such, was chosen from among some 150 artists to be featured in a special one-person exhibit.

“Pequot Library is all about tradition,” said Stephanie Coakley, executive director, “and one big tradition is honoring the visual arts.”

“I grew up in Maine and I was always passing by all these bodies of water … and it just became part of me,” Grasso said.

“I never realized that until I started to paint,” she said.

A retired art teacher, Grasso attributes much of her inspiration to the students she had over a 35-year career.

“I think these seascapes are just perfect for (us),” Coakley said. “A little Maine in Southport.”

The exhibit will be on view through Oct. 6.