Kaiser Mills is like any other high school senior. He enjoys athletics, video games and art. It is his artwork, however, that is one of his stand-out talents.
“I’ve been doing art since I was little,” Mills said. “It was fun. It wasn’t boring, and it was a coping skill.” The coping mechanism was needed because Kaiser happens to be autistic.
“He’s got autism and some other diagnoses,” his grandmother, Mary Ann Turner, said. “He’s been in special education since he was three.”
Mills arrived at Plainview when he was in the seventh grade, and found guidance under art teacher Greg Dudley. As he grew, his style matured and he soon found himself winning awards for his artwork.
Two years ago, he won Best in Show at the Special Olympics for his pen and ink drawing of a tiki.
“That took me six weeks to do,” Mills said. “I drew it all in pencil and then went over it with ink.”
When the Special Olympics art show rolled around again earlier this year, he found himself with another Best in Show title. This time it was for a papier mache sculpture of a praying mantis.
Other stand out pieces of his artwork include a pen and ink series based on iconic Star Wars characters.
“We could have sold hundreds of these but we don’t have any extras,” his grandmother laughed when she recalled their time at the Ardmore Parks and Recreation Department’s Art in the Park event June 2 at Central Park.
One other painting of interest is his self portrait, which Mills decided to color green. He said he chose green because the teacher suggested using an unusual color for the piece. He also selected the hue because he’s a fan of Marvel’s “The Incredible Hulk.”
When he’s not busy creating new works of art, Mills likes to spend his time pursuing athletic interests. At approximately 6 foot 5 inches tall and wearing a size 17 shoe, it’s clear that he possesses a natural ability in this area as well.
One of his favorite activities is running, and he has received two gold medals and one silver at the Special Olympics. He’s also received two blue ribbons in basketball.
Mills is also an accomplished bowler and he enjoys being a member of the Plainview bowling team. His grandmother expressed pride in this achievement because all of his teammates treat him just like everyone else on the team.
Continuing the trend of team sports, Mills is spending his summer running with the Plainview summer track team. He enjoys getting to run with his sister and is hoping to qualify for nationals later this summer.