Move over, Banksy. There’s a new wave of graffiti artists stealing all the headlines, and they’ve been dubbed “graffiti grannys.”
An organization in Lisbon, Portugal, called LATA 65, is helping over-65ers get their creative juices flowing. The group offers workshops that aim to educate elderly people about street art. According to The Guardian, the idea behind LATA 65 comes from architect Lara Seixo Rodrigues and street artist Adrião Resende, with the help of 65-year-old Luísa Cortesão.
Seixo Rodrigues revealed that, in 2011, she started organizing a street art festival in her hometown, Covilhã, where she noticed that the elderly were interested in urban art.
“Each year we ran the festival I noticed it was the older people, not the younger ones, who were really engaged,” she told the publication. “They were our companions at all hours, day and night, asking us questions about how it was done and commenting on what the paintings represented. I realised there was a real interest in street art among this age group.”
Though the group of 11 elders is called “grannies,” there are actually some men involved — reportedly three of them — along with the eight women. The oldest participant in the group is 90-year-old Isaura Santos Costa, while the youngest is 59.
Over the past three years, the group has been organizing workshops across Portugal, and it has plans to expand and start workshops in São Paulo, Brazil.
I love this idea and think it’s a great way of bridging the gap between an urban art form that is often favoured by the youth and teaching the older generation a new artistic technique — it also proves that age is just a number.