I’m addicted to alliteration- that literary device stringing words together starting with the same consonant sound…as in “Sally sells seashells by the seashore…”
A friend sent me the following link from a story aired by Lester Holt on the CBS Nightly News. The alliterative title of the segment — Granny Does Graffiti — got me from the get-go (see, more alliteration. I can’t help myself)
The segment features Mary Good, painter and grandmother of 35, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. Mary attends a creative arts program designed for people with memory loss issues at the Johnson Day Center in Denver Colorado. Through art, the sadness she experiences at the erosion of her memory is erased through her engagement with the creative arts.
But this program takes creative expression to a new level. Mary’s paintbrush has been replaced with a paint can. According to this article, her new canvas, and that of other seniors in the program, is a wall and cans of spray paint. According to Lester Holt,
“Demographically these seniors don’t fit the profile of graffiti artists. The hope is that by introducing something new, a different pathway and channel opens up in the brains and it is possible to get a glimpse of the person that is still there”.
And Denver is not the only city promoting grandparent graffiti movements. Lisbon, Portugal has created Lata 65 (Lata is can in Portuguese; 65 the historical age designation for senior citizens). +65 year olds are paired with street artists in workshops to learn the logistics of stencil making and spraying. The project is revitalizing and coloring the city with fresh perspectives from older sources.
To say I love these projects would be an understatement. Creative expression enriches lives, why shouldn’t it enrich our aging. As one of the founders of Lata 65 noted, “It’s promising to see graffiti and street art being used to tackle the untrendy issues of elder outreach and ageism.” I am a Baby Boomer and my readers tend to be members of the Baby Boomer generation. A characteristic of this generation is our quest to be cool. I think being budding Banksys (Banksy is a British graffiti and street artist with an international reputation for cool) would totally fulfill that goal.