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Acton Memorial Library will be CLOSED on Sunday, May 26, for carpet cleaning and Monday, May 27, for Memorial Day. The library will reopen at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, May 28.

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The Day After Yesterday: Portraits of Dementia

Photography by Joe Wallace

May 3 – June 27, 2024 in the Meeting Room Gallery

Photography by Joe Wallace will be on exhibit in the library’s Meeting Room Gallery during the months of May and June 2024.

The artist says of his work:

The typical narrative about dementia tends to focus on the clinical diagnosis or medical status of an individual, and is all too often depicted using fear, despair and vulnerability. This narrow and incomplete view of dementia quickly becomes a powerful means to distance oneself from their humanity. By focusing only on the narrowest of views, that narrative does little to change the stigma of those living with the disease. In many ways, showing the stereotypical perspectives only makes it easier to continue ignoring the burgeoning health crisis and the individuals themselves.

The goal of this book and travelling exhibit is to destigmatize those living with dementia. To use empathy as a means for connection and understanding. To tell a more complex and complete story of those living with the disease and its effect on their families and loved ones.

To give the audience courage to act in ways large and small, you must show the whole story – the fear, loss and despair, but also the love, connection, dignity, and powerful humanity that always remain – in the subjects, in the care-partners, and in the families and communities. That is the only path to evolve the narrative and have a positive social change.

Trained as a journalist, Joe Wallace has been a portrait photographer and storyteller for twenty years. Like many, Joe has a deeply personal connection with dementia. His maternal grandfather and hero, Joe Jenkins, had Alzheimer’s. His maternal grandmother Elizabeth Ponder (Bebe) had vascular dementia. And in recent years, his mother Barbara has begun her journey with the disease.

Joe feels strongly that to give the audience courage to act in ways large and small, you must to show the whole story. The artist must not be afraid to show not only the fear, loss and despair, but also the love, connection, dignity, and powerful humanity that always remain—in the subjects, in the care-partners, and in the families and communities. That is the only path to evolve the narrative and have a positive social change.

All are welcome to a gallery talk with Joe on Tuesday, May 28, at 6:30 p.m. in the Meeting Room.

For more information on Joe Wallace’s work, visit: www.portraitsofdementia.com

Exhibitions are free and handicapped accessible. Exhibitions in the library Meeting Room are available for viewing whenever the library is open and the room is not in use for a meeting. Please check the library Program Calendar for availability.

At the beginning of each year, the Arts Committee of the Acton Memorial Library invites Massachusetts artists to submit work for consideration for upcoming exhibitions in the Meeting Room Gallery. More information is available on the library’s Artists Exhibition Opportunity page.