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Robert Thome, an internationally acclaimed mouth painter, taught painting as a therapeutic tool to rehabilitation patients on Aug. 26 as part of Alvarado Hospital's Artability progam.

Thome, who was born in 1954, became a quadriplegic in his teens following an injury sustained while playing football. Always interested in art, he turned to mouth painting as a form of therapy and self-expression. He has a particular passion for encouraging rehabilitation patients to turn to art because many disabled people become isolated, and creating artwork provides a social outlet.

Thome’s art career spans more than 35 years, more than 1,000 pieces of art andhis work has been exhibited around the world, including exhibits and prominent galleries in the U.S., Sydney, China, New Zealand, Italy, Portugal and England. He is a lifetime member of the Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists. He also has been inducted into the California Governor’s Hall of Fame.

Thome taught the Artability students - from San Diego Rehabiltation Institute at Alvarado Hospital - how to pain on canvas. art project on canvas. The completed works of art were exhibited at the "Rehab Every Body Matters" display at Alvarado Hospital as part of National Rehabilitation Awareness campaign