"Graffiti Grannies"

Street art has been making a tough entrance into the art world, from being called garbage, dirty, unartistic, or strange; however, your grandmother is here to tell you that you’re wrong! The new breakthrough of street art is reaching a vast group of senior citizens in Lisbon, Portugal, who have began interactive clubs promoting and practicing their graffiti skills.

 

The club is called LATA65, meaning “can”, and the age of the participants in the group. Though the average age is 74 years old, some of their members are also 92 years old. The group promotes hands-on practice of public art for senior citizens by providing them with the paint, stencils or stencil-creating materials, gloves, and facemasks. Before they take out on their journey, the senior citizens learn about the history of street art that grew in Europe, and then learn how to use their tools. They also learn about tagging and stenciling.

 

LATA65 is breaking barriers of young and old by connecting them through hands-on art. Not only is this art a great therapeutic advantage for senior citizens, but it also gives them opportunities to remain active and connected with younger generations in the community. LATA65 also hopes to prove that the stereotypes that come with street art can be broken, allowing the artwork to be more appreciated.

 

As street art is becoming more accepted, it is being seen more often throughout cities and encouraged by stencilers who make more cut out, refined designs throughout the cement jungle of many cities. Street art has served has a great way for people within the city to express their communities, their emotions, and their way of life. Now, these great motives of expression are being opened up to an older community who possibly would not have had this opportunity otherwise.

 

--Jessalyn Kieta



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