University of Oregon

The Gift of Communication

Renee Stacey was diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia, a rare dementia that affects language and speech, in 2009.  After most clinicians offered Renee little hope, HEDCO Clinic specialists and trainees have capitalized on technology and the dedication of family and friends to keep Renee connected.

Select pieces of Renee Stacey's art hang in the front entrance of the HEDCO Clinic. 


Renee Stacey Biography

Renee Stacey has lived in Eugene Oregon for 32 years. She was a teacher for many years and taught pre-school to college aged students. She taught creative writing, child development and was part of the small schools program at North Eugene High School. She always incorporated play and creativity in her teaching. She has an undergraduate in theater from Santa Barbara and two Masters of Education from the University of Oregon one in Early Childhood Education in 1984 and in Curriculum and Instruction 1991. She was a graduate intern at “Project Zero” at Harvard University in 1983.

 In 2009 she was diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia (PPA) a rare dementia that affects language and speech. She retired from teaching in 2011. She started taking art classes including oil painting, sculpture, watercolor, pottery, and doll making. As her speech declined she found an outlet and a way to communicate by creating art in her home studio and enjoyed art classes at Maude Kerns and Clayspace.

Her art is inspired by dreams, nature and everyday objects. Her still life painting of flowers and animals were common objects found in her home. Sculptures were often inspired by dreams and other artist’s work. She also worked with real life models for sculpture and painting. She joined a local doll making group and attended a workshop in New Hampshire to learn how to make intricately made dolls.

Her work was featured in Nature Review magazine in 2014 written by the neurologist Dr. Mesulam who is an expert on PPA. A piece of her art work hangs in his office is Chicago.

PPA causes motor skills to diminish and her later work includes multi-media collages where she could use images, fabric and paper to express her creativity.

Some of her work is available for sale. Please contact her daughter Molly Juillerat if you are interested in any of her art pieces.

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