I was born in Seattle in 1953 to Robert and Dorothy Wikstrom. My homelife would be fairly normal for any young white catholic boy in the mid fifties.My first journey from home came in 1964 when I spent the summer with relatives in Ketchikan, Alaska. We searched for indian artifacts at low tide and discovered stone lamps and axe heads. I became infatuated by Northwest Coast Indian art and culture.By the time I entered Queen Anne High School I was an apprentice in my father's commercial art business. During my junior and senior years at Queen Anne High School I produced the artwork for the school yearbooks.
I was active in the antiwar movement and participated in underground cultural events of many kinds. The first large music festival I attended was a rousing affair known as the Seattle Pop Festival in 1969.Later the next summer, I took a journey to Los Angeles by freight train and hitch hiking with a friend. We explored the Sunset Strip and hung out at the Whiskey a Go Go.
I began to move away from home. First by retreating to a wooded area near my home that provided solitude and a chance to discover myself. My friends and I had rehabilitated and then occupied derelict buildings near the shoreline and eventually rented some of the legitimate houses.
After high school, I enrolled in commercial art courses at Seattle College. Two years later my studies were complete and I was hired as a sign painter for a local drug store chain. I also worked in my father's art business and felt I was on my way to becoming a success. During summer and spring breaks from my junior year in high school on, I would take progressively longer trips away from home.
Other freight train travels followed, the longest being a trip with a friend to Chicago and then a short hitch hike to Ann Arbor, Michigan to take part in the annual blues and jazz festival held there.
Following this journey I embarked on the deciding event of my life. After living in New Orleans for several months I sustained an injury to my spinal cord while swimming and became paralyzed from the shoulders down.
After rehabilitation, I again took up my paintbrush and redeveloped my art. I designed an art program at Seattle's Children's Hospital and gradually my life came back together in a new and very positive way.
I became a Student Member of The International Association of Mouth & Foot Painting Artists and graduated to Full Member in 1992. My wife and I have been together for 30 years and have 5 terrific grandchildren. We have traveled the world together and invite you to read of our adventures here.
Thank you for your time and interest. Please feel free to contact me.
Brom Wikstrom is a Seattle native, born in 1953, graduating from Queen Anne High School (where he illustrated the school yearbook) and Seattle College Commercial Art Program. Other education at Seattle Pacific University, Antioch Technical and University of Washington Extension. He apprenticed under his father Robert, an award-winning art director and established himself as a sign painter and display artist in the Seattle area during the early seventies.
He became paralyzed following an injury to his spinal cord at 21 while swimming. He learned to paint with his mouth and was eventually accepted into the select International Association of Mouth & Foot Painting Artists. This organization reproduces and markets member’s work worldwide and he has attended exhibitions of his work at their conferences in New York City, Vienna, Brussels, Mexico City, Lima, Buenos Aires, Sydney, Shanghai, Taipei, Athens, Lisbon, Great Britain (solo exhibition) and most recently Barcelona, Spain.
Brom’s paintings are included in many noted Seattle collections including: Seattle Aquarium, Nordic Heritage Museum, University of Washington Hospital, Ballard High School, Washington Bar Association, Microsoft, Seattle Metro, a large public mural in Kent, WA and many private collections. Nationally, he is represented in the collections of the U.S. Marine Corps, Japanese Embassy Washington DC, Pepsi Cola, Coca-Cola, El Paso, TX Museum of Art (solo) and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. He has won local and national competitions for his work including First Place at the Sister Kenny and Moss Rehab national shows and Magnolia Summerfest competition in Seattle.
Beginning in 1977, following his rehabilitation, Brom began an informal art instruction program at Children’s Hospital in Seattle that later grew with the award of a CETA (Comprehensive Employment Training Act) grant. This led to opportunities to be visiting art instructor to thousands of Seattle students in area schools, an activity that he continues to this day. He also regularly makes presentations to civic groups, hospitals and assisted living centers.
ADMINISTRATOR & ADVOCATE
Brom has served as board member and president of Seattle area non-profits including: VSA arts Washington, providing arts experiences to children and adults with physical and mental disabilities; Easter Seals of Washington; Puget Sound Group of Northwest Painters, currently president of PSGNA, the oldest professional art organization in the northwest (Est. 1928). In 2007, Governor Christine Gregoire appointed Brom to two terms as Washington State Arts Commissioner.
Brom is responsible for many dozens of art shows in the Seattle area including exhibitions at the Nordic Heritage Museum, Seattle Resource Gallery, an international exhibition held at Art/Not Terminal Gallery during the Goodwill Games and continuing regular exhibitions at his gallery near Greenlake.
Painting demonstrations of his work have been conducted for Andy Warhol, Vice-President Al Gore and the Emperor & Empress of Japan. He received the Torchlight Association’s annual award in Taipei, Taiwan in 1995 and delivered keynote addresses to Rotary International and VSA arts. Most recently, he was awarded a fellowship to be Artist-in-Residence at the Vermont Studio Center.
Brom and his wife Anne’ live in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood. They are active in their church and have been married nearly 30 years. They have journeyed the world together. Brom has worked as staff receptionist at the Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture since 1984. His website www.bromwikstrom.com has been active since 1997 and his Wikipedia page can be accessed at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brom_Wikstrom
This site was established in 1994 through a grant from the Seattle Art Museum's OPEN STUDIO program.