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Meet Hello Galena Artist: Lois Mihok

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Lois Mihok Blacksmith ShopDuring March, enjoy artwork by nationally known Galena artist, Lois Mihok featured at the artist co-op Hello Galena! Stop in the shop at 121 N. Commerce Street in Galena and see Mihok’s newest of 26 Galena building replicas, The Blacksmith Shop.

In addition to hand-painted resin buildings, her featured artwork will include framed paper sculpture, plaster sculpture and Tyler Toys.

Lois Mihok has been a freelance model and mold maker for 48 years. She prepares dimensional drawings or works from blueprints, models and sculpts original artwork, and turns plaster shapes on a wheel or lathe. Mihok makes shells for foundry reproduction in steel for zinc slush castings; models for vinyl centrifugal castings; and models for silicone rubber molds for resin, wax and metal castings.

Tyler ToysMany of the popular Banthrico metal coin banks were crafted by Mihok, and are listed in the collectors’ association catalog. Her work continues to be in demand, as she was commissioned recently by a bank in Mt. Prospect, IL.

Mihok was born and raised in Chicago. When asked if she was artistic as a child, Mihok shares, “I was always building something and often designed farm buildings. My first sculpting medium was bars of Ivory soap.”

Following a brief appointment as a high school Physical Education teacher on the eastern shores of Maryland, Mihok co-owned a ceramic business in Maryland and then Wisconsin, and her artistic career was launched. Other well-known companies who benefited from Mihok’s talent as a model and mold maker were the Stiffel Lamp Company and Haeger Potteries.

Paper sculpture by Lois MihokMihok designs and builds scale miniatures and dioramas, which are horse-related scenes, including one of the Grand National Steeple Chase.

Teaching continues to be part of Mihok's life. She inspires young artists as she instructs elementary students at the Dubuque Lutheran School. Her largest work is a bas relief sculpture, a 6-foot by 20-foot set of five panels, which is installed at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Dubuque. Mihok is a certified ceramic teacher and has judged at ceramic shows.

Patrons interested in her artwork may reach Mihok via email. Her art is on sale at Hello Galena at 121 N. Commerce St., in Galena. Find Hello Galena's online map, store hours and directions.


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