Boy with Autism inspired by graffiti

Modesto, CA – Boy with autism, Kingston Lara was only 2 when he fell in love with a spray painted mural near Leos Market at H and Third street in 2012. Like most others on the spectrum, Kingston lacked the language skills to show his appreciation for the wall art, but his mother knew from his expressive body language and pleased face that he couldn’t get enough of it. They took a quick shot of the mural to remember the moment. Sadly, the picture lasted longer then the mural did.

Kingston is now a flourishing 5-year-old who loves to sing, dance, play music, and create art with sidewalk chalk, acrylic paints, and play dough. Even though he saw the mural over two years ago, its graffiti style left a lasting impression on him. He lights up at the sight of graffiti, loving the bold lines and brightly painted tag names.

That is why mother Kamica Lara, events coordinator for Medesto Centre Plaza, has decided to decorate her sons room in 80’s urban style, complete with an 80’s boom box and real graffiti from a real graffiti artist. She found two metal lockers and asked friend John Black, CEO of Peer Recovery Art Project to find some artists willing to tag them. 

Black quickly came back with six ready to take on the job, but one name shouted back to her from the middle of memory lane: Hocus Manriquez of Ceres. A few years back a co-worker spotted the graffiti photo with Kingston on her desk and noted that Hocus was the artist. Kamica contacted him to let him know that her son was his biggest fan. But they had lost touch.

Hocus agreed to spray paint the lockers only knowing that it was for a child with autism. But when he saw that it was his fallen fresco Kamica wanted copied, he was blown away. He took Friday off work and spray painted the lockers on the sidewalk of Peer Recovery Art Project,.

The Modesto Bee interviewed Black about the amazing project and he commented that this shows the amazing powers of art:

“A 2-year-old autistic spectrum child saw this artist’s work and became inspired on urban art. They tore down the art, but it lives in that little boy.”

The original article on The Modesto Bee website can be read here

Contributed by Audrey L. Hollingshead