The Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists (VDMFK) was founded in 1957 by 17 mouth and foot painting artists. Their motivation was to create a self-help organisation for artists with disabilities that would offer them a reliable source of income, and thus an independent life. Every person was to be given the opportunity of developing as an artist irrespective of the degree of their disability, their country of origin and their religion. These were ideals that were anything but a matter of course in the middle of the last century.
VDMFK is an association, and is supported by the mouth and foot painting members. This self-help organisation does not belong to either a natural or legal person. The reason for its existence is to promote and support existing and future mouth and foot painting artists.
The decision-makers in the Association are the mouth and foot painting members. All the bodies of the association, with the exception of the legal advisor and the auditor, are filled by the members themselves. The President, the Board of Directors and the Court of Honour are elected at the plenary meeting or delegates’ convention. The Board of Directors decides on the admittance of members and selects the jury, which evaluates the painting progress of the mouth and foot painting artists at regular intervals and reports to the Board of Directors. The operational activities are delegated to the management.
The mouth and foot painting artists who are supported by VDMFK are no longer able to use their hands as a result of either illness or an accident. They therefore paint with their foot or their mouth. The expert jury of VDMFK closely examines these criteria when admitting an applicant.
The decision-makers in the Association are the mouth and foot painting members. The around 800 mouth and foot painters send approximately 6,000 pictures to VDMFK every year. The most suitable pictures are selected by the jury of VDMFK and made available to a wide variety of publishing houses all over the world in the form of digital motifs. The publishing houses are responsible for marketing the greeting cards and other products featuring motifs by the mouth and foot painters. Via VDMFK, the profits from the sales are passed on to the members and scholarship holders of the Association or in other words to the artists with disabilities, in form of monthly payments.
While the scholarship holders are supported in their artistic development by means of their scholarship, the members receive a regular income from the Association, which enables them to lead an independent life that is largely financially self-sufficient. The artists receive this monthly fee for their lifetime, in other words also should they no longer be able to paint. The level of financial support is set by the Board of Directors.
The founding mouth and foot painting members belonged to a generation that was substantially shaped by the First and Second World Wars. Their physical impairment, but also their artistic development, often met with little acceptance. For this reason it was important to found the Association in a country that acted neutrally towards them, but also had stable political circumstances, legal certainty and a reliable currency, and was located in the heart of Europe. These were conditions that are still valid today.
By ordering the products by mail order or via the website of the publisher for the mouth and foot painting artists in your country. The proceeds benefit the artists in the form of monthly payments.
These mailshots follow the principle of direct advertising. Unlike charitable organisations, the publishers that market greetings cards by mouth and foot painting artists do not request donations, but offer the articles for sale without obligation. This sales concept is the most direct form of addressing potential customers, and the recipients are free to choose whether they wish to pay for the greeting cards. In addition they are not obliged to either send the articles back or keep them.
If you no longer want to receive any mail from the mouth and foot painting artists, please contact the responsible publisher in your country in writing or by phone. You will immediately be removed from the address list or database, and will not receive any more mail.
The self-help organisation endeavours to enable the artists with disabilities to have a reliable source of income and thus a self-determined life through their painting. Because of this commercial focus, VDMFK does not have the status of a charity. You will therefore not receive a certificate of your donation.
Anyone who paints using their mouth or foot because they are unable to use their hands due to a disability can apply for admittance into the Association. An expert jury will decide on the applicant’s application after assessing their artistic skills. The Association is also pleased to admit new scholarship holders. VDMFK can be contacted initially by email.
VDMFK distinguishes the mouth and foot painters between the following categories:

Scholarship holder

A scholarship is initially awarded for three years. The decision on awarding a scholarship is made by the Board of Directors of VDMFK on the basis of a suggestion from the expert jury, which consists of two independent artists who are not disabled, VDMFK President and one other member of the Board of Directors. The amount of the monthly support is adjusted in line with the artist’s artistic development. The scholarship is not intended for maintenance, but for artistic education. As well as the purchase of painting utensils and specialist literature, above all the aim is to enable the artist to attend an art school or receive private tuition. The expert jury will continuously monitor the scholarship’s artistic development by means of the original works submitted, and as appropriate will suggest that he/she be admitted as an associate member or full member.

Associate member

The Board of Directors makes decisions on admittance as an associate member. A member of VDMFK should deliver the same artistic performance as would also otherwise entitle him/her to membership of an artists’ association. Associate members are entitled to active voting rights, but not passive voting rights. This means that they can elect full members as delegates, but cannot be elected as delegates.

Full member

Requests for admission must be submitted to the Board of Directors via the jury. The final decision on the admittance of a full member is reserved to the delegates’ convention. When admitted as a member, artists receive a monthly income to enable their artistic development and extensive material self-sufficiency. Full members can stand as candidates for the Board of Directors. At regular intervals VDMFK organises workshops and artists meetings with the mouth and foot painters in cooperation with the publishing houses. Occasions of this kind are often accompanied by an exhibition of pictures to present the artists’ works to the public and honour the mouth and foot painting artists.
No, original works of the artists cannot be acquired from VDMFK, as the originals remain the property of the mouth and foot painters.