Mariam Paré was born in Kenitra Morocco and came to the United States when she was a toddler. When she was in college, Mariam pursued a career in Fine Art. At the age of 20, her future was forever diverted when she became the victim of gun violence.
While driving a friend’s car stopped at an intersection, gun fire erupted on the adjacent sidewalk. A stray bullet passed through the door of the car and struck Mariam in the back. The gunshot resulted in a spinal cord injury at the C5/C7 level. For the rest of her life, Mariam would be paralyzed, unable to walk and with significant loss of function in her hands and fingers. The assailant was never caught or identified.
In rehabilitation, Mariam found new ways of doing things from a wheelchair. Though she did have limited use of her hands, she found she could write better using a pen held in her mouth! And with this idea, Mariam taught herself how to paint for the second time in her life. This time by mouth.
Today Mariam Paré is well-recognized creative talent who is celebrated for her colorful portraits painted by mouth, and other multimedia works. She is a member of the Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists. Her paintings have been exhibited worldwide as well as in notable private collections such as actors Pierce Brosnan, and Kathie Lee Gifford. Some of her major commissions include Craig H. Nielsen Foundation, Omorose Cosmetics, LifeWTR, Refinery29, and Pepsi company.
Mariam often tackles motifs surrounding the issues of gun violence and disability awareness. She is co-creator of Tres Fridas Project, an exhibition that "re-imagines art through the disability lens". Mariam was awarded a 3Arts Fellowship for 2020, and continues to work in collaboration with University of Illinois (Chicago) Disability Culture Leadership Initiative. She volunteers on the Associate Board at the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab, helping to coordinate art exhibits for artists in the disability community.
Currently Mariam works prolifically from her home in Chicago.