“The stories and portraits of patients, past and present, poignantly portray Alzheimer’s relentless disintegration of the mind in Joe’s compelling exhibit. To fully understand and beat this disease, we need to know the stories of our patients and their loved ones.”

—Dr. Rudolph E. Tanzi
Joseph. P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology
Harvard Medical School

“Joe's work brings out an emotional response from it's viewers whether at a gallery or on the walls of city hall. It is both universal and familiar. It demystifies a condition we know so little about and highlights what we all hope for no matter what stage of life we find ourselves in or what conditions we face: respect, agency, and autonomy. Joe's Portraits of Dementia remind us that every individual has a story that deserves to be told, deserves to be heard, and everyone deserves dignity, at every stage of life. I'm grateful that he has reminded us that people living with dementia deserve this same dignity, always.”

—Amy Walsh, M.Sc., CDP

Dementia Friendly Boston

Age Strong Commission

“Wallace's powerful exhibit brings to light uncovered narratives and stories from a population often overlooked and stigmatized. Through these larger-than-life, dignified portraits, visitors opened up on their own personal experience with dementia, sharing their story with each other and Pao Arts Center Staff. The selection of portraits displayed at Pao Arts Center was carefully curated to remind us that this disease affects people across backgrounds and immigrant experiences. This work was a prime example of the power of art: to connect people with each other, to reflect on their own experiences and, to generate difficult, but much needed dialogue and conversation.”

—Cynthia Woo

Director, Pao Arts Center

“People living with dementia must be seen as people first, not as their disease. Public recognition of the enduring humanity of those who live with disabilities, including cognitive disabilities, will decrease fear and stigma. The dementia friendly community movement aims for this shift in public perception. Joe’s vivid photographs remind us of our shared humanity as well as the uniqueness of each person.”

—Beth Soltzberg, MSW, MBA
Director, Alzheimer’s/Related Disorders
Family Support Program, Jewish Family & Children’s Service


“There is a saying ‘Memories make us who we are’. One of the terrors of Alzheimer’s, both for the person with the disease and for the people who care for them, is that following the loss of memory, our core self will be lost. 


“We tend to think of memory as what I had for lunch or where did I park my car. Beyond the process of remembering facts there is another level of memory—the way we experience our lives, the way it feels to be you, and the way you experience the people you share your life with.


“Joe has explored these challenges beautifully through his photographs and storytelling. His work is helping to change the way we look at the disease and at ourselves singularly and together.”

—Patricia McCormack
Boston Alzheimer's Initiative
Dementia-Friendly Boston


“I have learned from family and friends, who live with dementia that we must all work together to reframe dementia—challenging the terrible dominant narratives that create stigma and fear as they depict diagnosis as a death sentence and life with dementia as disappearance, absence, and loss.  Joe's photography and storytelling incites us to consider dementia as an opportunity to awaken and (re)member how to show up for one another as we live well, with challenges—to truly be present and listen with our whole being and full community.”

Emily Kearns, PhD, MBA

Dementia Ways

Founder, Dementia Action Alliance

Beginning at the End:
Portraits of Dementia by Joe Wallace

© 2020 Joe Wallace

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