The Mary Jo Rines Gallery at First Parish Church
Presents an Exhibit of Paintings and Sculpture by the late Fi Saad
In The Mary Jo Rines Gallery at First Parish from February 21, 2014 – April 4, 2014
On Sunday, March 30, beginning at 11:30 am, daughters Janet Saad and Karen Saad will be in the Rines Gallery
to share thoughts and memories of their mother and her work. Please join us!
Still Life with Native American Pottery
(in frame handcarved by Fi)
Moonlit Harbor with Village
Fi & Ted Saad
Ted Feeding the Deer - Japan
Biography of Afeefi “Fi” Saad
The oldest of four daughters, Afeefi “Fi” Abdelnour was born to Adele and Mittri Abdelnour on November 21, 1922 in West Roxbury, Massachusetts. Adele was a Boston native and Mittri immigrated to the United States from Lebanon at age 14 later serving in the U. S. Army during World War I. On May 5, 1943, Fi Abdelnour married Theodore “Ted” Saad in West Roxbury, Massachusetts. Ted, an electrical engineer and recent graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, worked in the field of radar at the MIT Radiation Laboratories during World War II and later established his own business, Sage Laboratories. Fi and Ted were blessed with two daughters, Karen Jeanne and Janet Elaine.
A bright, intelligent young woman, Fi Abdelnour graduated valedictorian of her high school class. She was an extremely visual and creative individual who loved art. Her early canvases were academic and tightly painted. Over time, Fi Saad developed into a boundless artist with freedom of stroke, color of palette, experimentation of style, and diverse medium. From the 1950s into the early 1960s, Fi studied under Olga Sears and in the 1970s under Michael Milan both in classes at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She later studied at the DeCordova Museum School stretching her talent in the direction of cubism and liberally painted abstract works in Advanced Painting under Kimberly Jermain from 1981 to 1985. Ms. Jermain remarked that Fi was a superb draftsman and everything she did came from her solid foundation skills. Fi’s approach was holistic and association was a huge part of her work. In the 1970s she studied wood carving with Frederick Brunner, master wood carver. It was also at the DeCordova that Fi Saad explored wood and stone carving under the tutelage of Angie Lee, who noted that Fi was an “A” student and her personality contributed tremendously to the studio atmosphere. Her time at the DeCordova spanned the 1970s through the fall of 2004. Numerous trips across the United States, to Europe and China greatly influenced her work especially subject matter as did images taken from her husband’s travels to his father’s homeland of Lebanon in the mid-1960s.
An extremely prolific artist, Fi Saad maintained a studio in her home for many years where she produced the majority of her body of work. One of her closest artist colleagues, Richard Hansen, frequently painted with her in her studio. Periodically, Kim Jermain from the DeCordova visited the studio to critique both artists’ works. Ms. Jermain pointed out that although Fi Saad did not choose a professional career in the arts, her work was on the level of sophistication as those that successfully did. Insight into her drive was revealed by Richard Hansen, who mentioned that Fi’s motivation was never to sell. One assumes that it was the sheer love and joy she garnered from painting, carving and sculpting that compelled her to produce such a vast body of work, nearly 300 pieces. In the late 1950s and into the 1960s, Fi Saad volunteered at the Pond Plain School in Westwood, Massachusetts as a children’s illustrator for the elementary school library. She was also a member of the Westwood Gallery, an artists’ cooperative established to promote members’ work through exhibitions in which Fi participated regularly.
Fi Saad was also a founding member of Concert Opera Boston established in 1995 to sponsor outstanding concert opera in the Boston area. The yearly fundraiser, OperAffair, includes a silent auction for which Fi donated a painting each year for the years 2004 to 2007. On May 31, 2009, Chorus pro Musica’s 14th annual concert opera sponsored by Concert Opera Boston, Puccini’s Turandot, was dedicated to her memory. Fi Saad was a lovely and gracious person who had the ability to bring others into her joy. She passed away October 10, 2008 and is buried in the Linwood Cemetery, Weston, Massachusetts.
Ruth Corsini, widow of Arthur Corsini, Westwood Gallery member
Lisa Ebel, DeCordova Museum School administrative assistant
Richard Hansen, artist
Kimberly Jermain, art consultant, former DeCordova Museum School painting instructor
Angie Lee, DeCordova Museum School sculpture instructor
Janet Saad, daughter
|Gallery Exibit History
About the Mary Jo Rines Gallery At First Parish
The Gallery At First Parish opened September 17, 2000.
On September 13, 2011, the Standing Committee voted to name the Gallery in
honor of its founder,
Mary Jo Rines, who died on September 4, 2011. A
special exhibit of Mary Jo’s work was on display
in the Gallery from
September 20 – September 30, 2011.
Its purpose, as described by the founders:
The mission of The Gallery At First Parish is to add another dimension
to the spiritual fabric of our lives by exhibiting the work of visual artists
who seek to contribute to a deeper understanding of the human condition.
The Gallery is intended to be a service to the parish, the artist and the
It is open to the public without charge 9 AM – 4 PM weekdays, and
9 AM – 12:30 PM Sundays.
Interested parties may also call the Church Office (781-893-7798) for
other possible viewing times.
Exhibits are listed in the First Parish
(The current or most recent exhibit is the last one listed.)
On September 12, 2000, the Standing Committee established the
Art Gallery Committee as an ad hoc committee with no expiration date.
The members of the committee are appointed by the Standing Committee.
Karen Gallagher, appointed 2011
Larry Grob, appointed 2011
Ginnie Hibbard, appointed 2008
Sharyn Lenhart Price, appointed 2013
Sylvia Whitman, Chair, appointed 2005
Tom Wintle, Senior Minister
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