Brom Wikstrom

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Brom Wikstrom is an American artist from Seattle, Washington,[1] who paints by mouth.[2][3] He is a life member of The International Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists.[4] His paintings have been displayed around the world.

Early life[edit]

Wikstrom was born in Seattle, Washington.[5] He graduated from Queen Anne High School where he illustrated the school yearbook and went on to complete a 2-year course in advertising art at Seattle College.


Wikstrom began his career as an apprentice in his father's commercial art studio, and then became a sign painter. He also hitchhiked and hopped freight trains around the country including a journey to attend the 1973 Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival.[6] He later worked as a seafood processor in Dutch Harbor, Alaska and for an industrial electric display company in New Orleans.

Wikstrom sustained an injury to his spinal cord while swimming in the Mississippi River and became a high–level quadriplegic at the age of 21.[7] After a lengthy rehabilitation he began to paint using his mouth to hold the brush and started volunteering his time at Children's Hospital in Seattle.[8] He speaks to school and community groups and operates his own gallery in Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood titled Wikstrom Brothers Gallery. His paintings are included in many collections such as Ballard High School in Seattle.[9] His paintings have been displayed around the world and he has served as delegate to conventions in Buenos Aires, Lima, Peru, Shanghai, Sydney, Vienna, Brussels, Lisbon, Athens and New York City.[10]

Honors and awards[edit]

Wikstrom has given painting demonstrations to the Emperor and Empress of Japan,[11] Andy Warhol and thousands of people around the world.[12] Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire appointed Brom a commissioner on the Washington State Arts Commission.[13][14]

In 2011, Wikstrom was presented an award as artist-in-action during Seattle's Annual Uptown Stroll.[15] He was awarded a fellowship to the Vermont Studio Center in 2015.[16] He and his wife toured the entire country by van after spending a month developing his art at the creative center.

Personal life[edit]

Wikstrom lives in Seattle with his wife Anne,[17] a gardener, dental hygienist and world traveler. He is a Life member and past president of the Puget Sound Group of Northwest Artists. He has worked as staff receptionist at the Burke Museum of Natural History at the University of Washington since 1984.


  1. ^ "Drawing New Conclusions" « Access Press
  2. ^ Deaf Life Magazine. 1994. p. ii.
  3. ^ USA: Disabled artists paint works of art using their mouths instead of their hands
  4. ^ "These artists paint with courage". Lodi News-Sentinel – Mar 13, 1986
  5. ^ "Robert Wikstrom turned art into business". Seattle Times. By Tan Vinh
  6. ^ Honorary degree recipient Ornette Coleman in Ann Arbor: 1973, 1986 and 2004
  7. ^ "Seattle Artists Faces The World One Brush Stoke At A Time". Komo News. May 12, 2005
  8. ^ "Illustrators Of Ethnic Folktales For Children Offer A Holiday Delight"., By Victoria Donohoe, INQUIRER ART CRITIC December 14, 1997
  9. ^ "High art at Ballard school" Archived 2015-06-06 at the Wayback Machine. Ballard News-Tribune. By Dean Wong July 6, 2006
  10. ^ Alexandra Rabins; C. David Reader; John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (U.S.). Very Special Arts (1999). The journey to here: 25 stories for 25 years. Disability Today Pub. Group. p. 79. ISBN 978-0-9680667-8-2.
  11. ^ "A limit, not an end". Spinal Cord Injury Zone. March 27, 2004
  12. ^ Home & Garden | A Charmed Corner | Seattle Times Newspaper
  13. ^ " His art sends a clear message: Don’t let go of lifetime dream". Seattle Times, July 6, 2007
  14. ^ "Disabled artists get broad stroke of resilience". USA Today. By Kate Naseef
  15. ^ "11th Annual Uptown Stroll and art festival proves a major success"[permanent dead link]. Queen Anne and Magnolia News. By Ann Pearce
  16. ^
  17. ^ "ACCESSIBLE HOME SITS SKY HIGH OVER SEATTLE". San Diego Union Tribune. By Rebecca Teagarden Jan. 10, 2015

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