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'Lady of California' Returns to Maria Shriver

Sometimes... you can go home.

Last March, Dylan Bocanegra’s art show entitled: A Mother’s Nature - which honored mothers from all walks of life – showcased the entire month of March in Manhattan’s Upper East Side at the M.O.M. museum.

It wasn’t until Friday, Sept. 21 that her elegant mascot – Lady of California arrived home safely as Bocanegra met his leading and even more elegant muse – Maria Shriver – at her Brentwood office. It took a community’s effort to assist young Bocanegra to move his show to New York and return. Banner Packing gave a substantial discount to create the show’s moveable crate and is recognized as one of the top moving and packing companies among local artists here in Los Angeles. Plane tickets, hotel and more were provided by people stepping up when they heard about the show and offering support wherever they could no matter how small the assist – every extended hand was treated with the same appreciation and gratitude by Bocanegra.

Some days are truly divine – defining finite moments where one can catch the wind’s tail and savor the sways of the swing it brings. I was allowed to witness renewed passion in my son’s eyes with one simple introduction. Dylan’s body came alive with animation as Shriver smiled as she peppered him with questions: How had he come to do a piece on her by her former CHP protective team? Why did he love his artwork so much? Where did he want to go with his career? How was his school going at Art Center College of Design? Did he realize how difficult it is to make money with art? Within moments she lead him to the entrance waiting hall of her large office and discussed artwork he might create for her to enhance people’s visits as they waited to be let in.

Shriver in person – if possible – is even more intoxicatingly stunning as a woman who knows who she is, what she wants and carries her Kennedy/Shriver heritage with ease in every move she makes. Quick to smile, lend an ear or offer advice – Maria Shriver rocked this young man’s world when they met.

As a mother, she confided to me that a friend mentioned to her that we’re often only as happy as our children. I smiled and concurred at this woman I have held in high regard for many years with all that she has achieved for numerous causes over the years as our former First Lady of California and in her continued daily life as a Kennedy/Shriver born and bred to carry the family torch of service and commitment. Watching and listening to them interact I realized I had succeeded in raising a boy who was taunted for drawing to have the same convictions as an adult.

Dylan spoke with clarity and passion about his desire to have his mural - that he made at age 17 of theIndiana Jones Series that hangs at Atlantic Aviation’s private pilot terminal in Santa Monica’s airport – moved to travel or find a home where thousands of kids could see that they too could create something big no matter how high or low they felt on life’s scale. Dylan confessed he was at a low point and ready to give up art when he created the piece.

Sandra, her personal assistant smiled and hugged me when I came and when we left as we both had contact over the return of the stencil that Dylan created to embody Shriver. Maria has worn many hats in her life, wife, mother, sister, aunt, author, advocate, teacher, mentor and more. To hear her say how touched she was when she was gifted the stencil meant a lot to a young man –and this mom - who came from little and who still has aspirations to go for more in his work, his life and his goals.

This summer my son helped me renovate a little house after a brother died in central California. It was a hard task but Dylan stuck by my side when his grandmother died three years prior – so not a surprise to his character. I feel beyond blessed to have this young man as my family.

Friday two tweets went out by Maria Shriver:

Maria Shriver ‏@mariashriver

All of Dylan's art is done by commission. Support a young artist and go to: http://www.dbocanegrart.blogspot.com

Maria Shriver ‏@mariashriver

This was a gift from the CHP a couple of years ago. The artist, Dylan Bocanegra, came by to see me today. http://pic.twitter.com/86OlbX9m

Sometimes when hope and life are at their darker moments it just takes new eyes to find a light somewhere in the mist.

Thank you, Sandra and Ms. Shriver for lifting young Dylan Bocanegra’s spirit as he continues his path in entertainment design.

On Sept. 29 the television show, Live Life and Win! will air locally on the FOX network where Bocanegra’s art will be showcased.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Gary D. Henry September 23, 2012 at 11:58 PM
This is one amazing article Eva-Marie. I can feel the joy and pride in you when reading your extraordinary words of encouragement. Heartfelt passages are often written to elicit an emotion but yours explode with all of them at once. How could she not adore both of you knowing that this fiery passion lurks just below the surface. Words are a writer’s canvas and yours have just created the most stunning of masterpieces.
Clay Bernard III September 24, 2012 at 12:17 AM
wow, what a heart warming story and it hit home for me bringing me back to my battles with my dad that insisted I could not make a living as an artist. That the right path for me as a young man was engineering, law or medicine. If I had the support you have shown towards your son how much easier it would have been to not struggle with my dad's wishes. I do understand in way where he was coming from being a product of the 50's when artist where classified as beatnik's, poor craftsman or the struggling street artist with a successful Rothko here and there. But my how times have changed with advent of digital media creation. Today I can say I make a great living in the arts and more important adore what I do for a living. So my hat goes of to you for being a mom that stands up for her son's pursuit of his aspirations to be a working artist. And really impressed with the continuing support Maria Shriver shows to the up and coming young artist. Ok you guys keep it up - hit it out of the park for young artist as well as the old ones like me that love these stories of parents, industry and leaders that make it possible for the arts community to thrive...
E.M. Fredric September 24, 2012 at 02:48 AM
Thank you, Gary. To finally meet a woman I admire as a mother, advocate and more along with Dylan was sheer joy. Seeing Sandra - the worker behind the scenes - as equally joyful.
terri September 24, 2012 at 05:13 PM
I couldn't be more PROUD of both of you. Your tireless committment to Dylan is evidenced everyday and WOW you are truly the queen of Pit Bulls my firend. I am so excited that Dylan was finally able to make this presentation and meet her. To know that he is flurishing in his work and like you not ever loosing site of his dreams is inspiring and so wonderful to see. Soar like a bird and keep flying.
E.M. Fredric September 25, 2012 at 02:50 AM
Wow indeed is your story about artists being able to make money at their careers. Thank you for sharing your enthusiastic and wise words, Clay.

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