Senior Citizen Street Art: Young Graffiti Artists Teach Elders

elderly street art stencil

In an effort to democratize both the creation and appreciation of urban graffiti, a group of young street artists in Lisbon, Portugal, is teaching retirees how to create their own stencils and tags.

elderly spray paint woman

street art mural artist

LATA 65 (lata meaning ‘can’ in Portugese) has so far introduced 100 aging participants to the art of spray painting and student work is already popping up in the form of tags and murals brightening up buildings and walls around town.

street artist student group

street artist working happy

street art aging artists

Led by veteran street artists, this gang of older students is learning not just how to create art but also about the history of the form, providing them not just with tools and techniques but cultural context for their studies as well.

street art teaching students

street artist group gang

street art bright mural

Their efforts are primarily being put toward enlivening dilapidated areas in need of fresh interventions and additional attention. Underlying the artwork itself, however, is a philosophy of bridging generational gaps and bringing new perspectives to a mode of expression typically associated with youth culture.

street art on wall

street artists in lisbon

street artist wall painting

While the elderly students are so far following the footsteps of their younger instructors, one has to wonder if their approaches may eventually develop in new and different directions, in turn providing novel sources of inspiration and innovation not yet thought of by their more youthful compatriots.