Portugal’s Graffiti Grandparents Are the New Face of Urban Artwork

by Alice Lawton

The coolest kind of grandparent is a graffiti-making grandparent—and the members of LATA 65 certainly are cool. LATA 65 was founded by Lara Rodrigues as an arts education group for seniors through WOOL Fest. Through two-day sessions, the seniors learn about graffiti; when it is done, Rodrigues takes them to the streets and they use the stencils they made to graffiti walls.

Senior citizens definitely aren’t the first people you would think would be making street art. Rodrigues told The Creators Project, “I think that the seniors come to the workshop with curiosity and an open mind about these issues around graffiti. They come with a lot of misconceptions, but are ready to learn a lot about it.” 

They’ve even had a run-in with the police before. Rodrigues says, “We had one time the police stopping next to the wall and telling us that they wanted to take us to the police station in their van… A group of 20 seniors. Obviously, we had permission for the painting, but the seniors wanted to go!”

The seniors learn all there is to know about graffiti, starting with its history. After the history lesson, they create stencils for their murals. They even get to create their own tags!  The practice has health benefits too. Many believe art is very good therapy for senior citizens. Hopefully everyone is still making art when they are older, be it graffiti or otherwise.

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Images courtesy of LATA 65 Facebook

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