Throughout the different phases of her life, art has always been there for Kaui Wilson. And she sees the inner artist in everyone.
"To me, art is an expression," Wilson said. "It's a feeling. Everyone's an artist, it's just that our genius is different. Like, for example, maybe you can't draw a stick figure, but you can play the violin. Or, maybe you're not a good dancer but you're an excellent poet."
Bringing out the inner artist in people was the inspiration behind the art-and-sip painting event she hosts through her Kaui Wilson Art, which was recently nominated for a Creme de la Copa award in the Art Studio category.
"I cannot believe that I was nominated for the Creme de la Copa award. I feel really grateful and humbled that I was even considered. It's an honor," Wilson said.
Wilson is a painter who works primarily with acrylics but she also enjoys using resins and charcoal.
"I love all art forms and mediums. I've been an artist my whole life," she said.
She holds an associate degree in applied science and a Bachelor of Arts degree in media arts and animation as well as graphic design.
Over the years, she has taught thousands of people art technique in hundreds of classes.
Her first stint at teaching art to others began with teaching painting and drawing to adults and children at the Copper Sky Recreation Center soon after it opened.
"Would you believe I originally signed up to teach kickboxing classes there? Instead, my art classes were the longest running, most grossing classes for two years," Wilson said.
Wilson maintains memberships with the Maricopa Friends of the Arts and the Maricopa Arts Council, serving as its president for two years. She has also participated in various art galleries and showings in Maricopa.
Her art-and-sip business offers painting classes and different venues.
"It's all about fun," Wilson said. "It's about socializing and just creating, for the sake of creating. There's a really beautiful camaraderie that happens in my classes. As people talk trash about their own creation, the others surrounding them chime in with how nice their creation looks and how they shouldn't criticize themselves so harshly."
Her favorite aspect of the classes is seeing the finished works created by participants.
"My favorite is seeing how different everyone's painting turns out. It's proof that we are all unique. Same everything: paints, brushes, instruction, etc.; different results," she said.
She also enjoys that people have a good time in the class, creating a unique work of art.
"I'm a huge proponent of doing the things that make your heart sing," she said. "The arts are the things that we inherently do, because we can't help it. We love it. We get lost in it. We spend hours submerged in it, without even realizing the time that's passed."
Wilson and her four children have lived in Maricopa for 13 years.
"My favorite thing about Maricopa is the people. I truly believe in the goodness of our community. I love how family-oriented our events are, and I love that the city caters to children, the elderly and our veterans," she said.
Her future plans include opening an arts academy and growing and increasing her outreach to those who want to learn art.