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On View: Beginning at the End: Portraits of Dementia

  • Pao Arts Center 99 Albany Street Boston, MA, 02111 United States (map)
  Bixa Liu,  Joe Wallace, 2017

Bixa Liu, Joe Wallace, 2017

Beginning at the End: Portraits of Dementia is a photographic project humanizing people affected by Alzheimer’s and Dementia by challenging the viewer to consider the entire subject and their lifetime of experience even if the subject can no longer access or share their memories.

Opening Reception | Thursday, October 18th, 6 - 8 pm

Dementia remains a taboo subject couched in silence. The diagnosis can become a mechanism of segregation resulting in the isolation of affected individual and their families. The intention of this work is to go beyond the label and highlight with dignity the substantial contributions of individuals living with dementia. Photographer Joe Wallace's hope is to increase public awareness and spark discourse addressing this staggering public health reality.

Dementia is an equal opportunity disease reflected in the cross-section of races and ethnicities evident in these portraits. A majority of those represented are immigrants who bore the challenge of leaving a community and culture to encounter and embrace a new one. The youthful portraits stand as witness to the accomplishments of these intrepid individuals whose unique stories remain.

Photography by Joe Wallace. Curated by J.Sybylla Smith

Joe Wallace.jpg

About the artist: Joe Wallace is trained as a writer and spent ten years selling stories in adverting. For the last twelve years he has been telling stories through photographs. His approach to photography applies a fine arts sensibility to the journalist’s eye for storytelling.  Wallace loves crafting an arresting visual narrative and feeds off the spark of collaboration. Whether with his subject, client, or other artists – he finds projects are richer and more rewarding when each person can express their own unique viewpoint.

 Author Grace Lin

About the curator: J.Sybylla Smith is an independent curator with over 27 solo or group exhibitions featuring over 80 international photographers exhibited in the U.S., Mexico and South America. Smith consults with individual photographers and arts organizations to develop exhibitions, educational programming and written content including artist statements and marketing material. An adjunct professor, guest lecturer, and thesis advisor, Smith has worked with the School of Visual Arts, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Wellesley College, Harvard University, Emmanuel College, and Concept AwareTM, a unique creative framework for concept development.

Directions: The Pao Arts Center is located in the One Greenway building, 99 Kneeland Street. For GPS driving directions, use 66 Hudson Street, Boston, MA 02111. From Hudson Street, walk up the stairs and across the deck to the 99 Albany Street entrance. The public parking garage entrance is on Hudson Street. The Pao Arts Center is accessible by the MBTA green, red, and orange lines.

Contact: Cynthia Woo | 617-863-9080