“Feeling a Certain Power,” Ensign, July 1993, 69
In 1977–78, Brad Chidester was the Utah State Muscular Dystrophy poster child. Even then, his artistic abilities were obvious. “I spent my time drawing when other kids were out playing and doing sports,” says Brad. “I’ve always loved to draw.”
As a high school student at Alta High School in Sandy, Utah, Brad was an honor student; during his senior year, he earned the locally prestigious Sterling Scholar award in visual arts. Later, he attended Salt Lake Community College and studied graphic arts. But soon the demand for his watercolors and subsequent sales allowed him to paint full time.
Confined to a wheelchair since he was a toddler, Brad says, “Through my art I can express my feelings. When I am working on a piece, I feel a certain power that I am not able to experience in any other way because of my physical limitations. I can reproduce nature as I see it and can even make changes in nature if I want to.”
He has won numerous awards and often displays his work. Each year he donates paintings to the Muscular Dystrophy Association to be auctioned, with the money used in the fight against muscular dystrophy. Though his physical muscles are weak, Brad Chidester wields real power as he uses his artistic “muscles.”