WOOL & LATA 65: “AWAKEN, MOTIVATE and EXCITE the Elderly through Urban Art”

Art Organization name: WOOL (& the LATA 65 project)

Featured Work 1:  A wall painted by artist Pantonio for the WOOL Covilhã Urban Art Festival

WOOL

This piece is described on the WOOL Covilhã Urban Art Festival site as

 “inspired by the sounds of Covilhã, inspired by the short film ‘Da meia noite pró dia‘ by Vanessa Duarte (below).”

WOOL: Covilhã Urban Art Festival is a festival in Portugal that premiered in 2011.  LATA 65 is an initiative developed by WOOL that gives the elderly experiences with urban art.

Featured Work 2: Images from LATA 65

lata 65 Collage

Several notes about the LATA project from Lara Seixo Rodrigues of WOOL (at the end of 2015):

  • number of actions – 17
  • locations – Lisboa, Ponta Delgada (Azores), Reveles, Verride, Porto, Covilhã, Fundão, Juncal do Campo (Castelo Branco) e São Paulo (Brazil)
  • number of students – 195
  • age range – ~72 years old
  • oldest student – 101 years old
  • lecture locations – Lisboa, Coimbra, Viseu, Sintra, Covilhã, Porto e São Paulo (Brazil)

5 Questions for the Artist:

1. What is art to you?

“Working in the streets with WOOL I found out that the most present and attentive were the seniors. From this observation, to a simple talk, I was challenged to make a workshop of urban art for seniors, and since day 1 the whole experience and the results were amazing. And for me, it’s impossible to stop doing it. LATA 65 is a huge example how, specifically, urban art can be use as a powerful instrument to make social, cultural changes. Art for me, its this powerful and a lot of times, misunderstood, way and result to change communities, to change the world.”

2. What did you make in the past, and why?

“I studied architecture and worked for more than 10 years. In 2011, after the 1st edition of WOOL, the event that gave me the possibility to watch the simple and fast transformation of communities and parts of cities, I decided to invest in this area. All the architectural background is precious to me as I make the lectures for the cities where  I’m working. The possibilities of transformation are vast and this is amazing to work with.”

3. What are you making now, and why?

“At this moment I’m working is several ways: curating and producing several big urban art events to take place this year, all around the country (Portugal); continue to spread LATA 65, as a simple and effective example of the work and attention the seniors deserve.”

4. What are your hopes for the future?

“I think my biggest hope (and now still my greatest sorrow) is that the cities, the families, people in general, governments, we all… take a great look at the problem of aging and all the problems attached to it. We need to take care of, with maximum quality, this age group.”

5. Do you want to add anything?

“I would repeat the answer 4. It’s urgent to look at this matter. The world is aging and there aren’t enough conditions, equipment, or professionals to take care of all the seniors and also I’m talking about me or you. I’ll end with a question for all the ones who’ll read this: do you have a plan for your old age? For your retirement?”

Art Organization Supplied Background:

“Being the direct result of two great passions, one for Graffiti / Street Art and other for Covilhã and its history, and closely linked to the textile industry, WOOL– Covilhã Urban Art Festival, appeared in 2011 as the first event of these characteristics in the interior of Portugal, under a specific and unique format and modus operandi, aiming to introduce new expressions of Contemporary Art as tools of enormous social, cultural, economic and urban transformations in a community. Today, it is possible to observe a huge number of parallel actions, in new geographies and formats, targeting different (and unusual) age groups, confirming the value of Urban Art as a tool for rehabilitation (and recovery) of citizenship.

LATA 65 is a project that aims to: bring the less young closer to a form of artistic expression usually associated with younger ones, prove that concepts such as ACTIVE AGING and inter-generational solidarity make more sense every day, demonstrate that Urban Art has the POWER TO FOMENT, TO PROMOTE AND TO VALUE the DEMOCRATIZATION OF the ACCESS to Contemporary ART, and to demonstrate that age is just a number. LATA 65 is presented as a workshop taught in relaxed working environments, ideal for learning a variety of intervention techniques used in the streets and working directly with some of the best urban artists today. After the first workshop and other following actions, we can confirm that: it is possible and DESIRABLE to AWAKEN, MOTIVATE and EXCITE the elderly through Urban Art, and it is desirable to present to these generations NEW ACTIVITIES, NEW TECHNIQUES associated with youth, as a way to escape and to break routines, GENERATING QUALITY, JOVIALITY and WELL-BEING in their lives.”

An image of Lara Seixo Rodrigues  is below.

LATA 65 - Lara Seixo Rodrigues

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5 Questions for the Artist, © Julia Travers
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