Brom Wikstrom is a Seattle native, 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, Barcelona, Mexico City, Lima, Buenos Aires, Sydney, Shanghai, Taipei, Athens, Lisbon, Great Britain (solo exhibition) and most recently Rio de Janeiro.
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 Artists, Past 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 30 years. They have journeyed the world together. Brom worked as staff receptionist at the Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture from 1984 to 2020. His website www.bromwikstrom.com has been active since 1994 and his Wikipedia page can be accessed at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brom_Wikstrom
Journey to New Orleans in 1975. Spinal cord while swimming, paralyzed from the shoulders down.
An adventure in Dutch Harbor and Kodiak, Alaska in 1974 at the age of 20 to work as seafood processor.
Freight trains to Chicago and then a short hitch hike to Ann Arbor, Michigan to take part in the 1973 annual blues and jazz festival.
Elected to Puget Sound Group Northwest Artists, 1978
Member of The International Association of Mouth & Foot Painting Artists, 1985, Full Member 1992/
This site was established in 1994 through a grant from the Seattle Art Museum's OPEN STUDIO program.