Reader Todd Mecklem sent in a link to this story about German senior citizens taking to the streets in a graffiti art class. Highly relevant reading given the recent crackdown on street art here in Portland.

Berthild Lorenz is just one of a growing number of over-50's in Germany that are learning graffiti and other forms of street art, encouraged by courses targeting older generations. Often grey-haired or bespectacled, with some participants as old as 80, they don't exactly fit the profile of rebellious youth commonly associated with graffiti culture. And for most of them, it's their first time wielding a spray can.

"Many older people regard graffiti as vandalism," says Stephanie Hanna, a Berlin-based artist who has organized several graffiti workshops for older people. "But that is changing as people start to see that it has artistic value." Indeed, in recent years graffiti and street art have enjoyed growing prestige. Works by the elusive British street artist Banksy now change hands for hundreds of thousands of pounds.

  • Der Spiegel