ITEM PHOTO BY SPENSER HASAK
Saugus artist Jeff Fioravanti’s show, “The Vision Place of Souls,” is opening on Wednesday at Lynn Museum.
By BILL BROTHERTON
LYNN — Jeff Fioravanti’s love of history and art began early in life.
“I remember getting up early on Saturday mornings, grabbing a bowl of cereal and watching ‘The World at War’ and ‘Victory at Sea’ on TV. For me, the spirit of America came alive through those shows,” said Fioravanti, a longtime Lynn resident who grew up in Saugus. “I also loved the American Heritage Encyclopedia books. My mother bought them at the A&P, where Bob’s store is now on Route 1. I read them from cover to cover.”
He also recalled as a boy spending hours at the dining room table, armed with “thousands of crayons,” drawing, coloring and creating.
Family trips were to such places as Fort Ticonderoga, Cooperstown and the battlefields of Gettysburg, a treat for him and his brothers “but probably not for my poor mother,” he added, with a smile.
“There are three constants in my life: Sports, art and history,” said Fioravanti, a member of the Saugus High School Athletic Hall of Fame (and class of 1976). “As a hockey player, I left a few teeth on the ice at the old Lynn Arena,” he said. But it’s art and history that have always tugged at his heart.
These are exciting times for Fioravanti. The Lynn Museum is hosting a six-month solo exhibition of his work, mostly pastels of Civil War scenes, titled, “The Vision Place of Souls.” An opening reception will be at the Museum Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m.
He has long possessed a love of the American Civil War inspired by his family and the artists of that conflict, including Winslow Homer and Conrad Wise Chapman and Currier & Ives. “My family includes many educators and historians. My mom was a teacher. They taught me that history was more than just dates, but stories, the stories I now try to capture in paint. Art and history for me has…