globally as a master artist of visual storytelling, Tom Mielko
is best known for his finely honed ability to communicate with the
viewer in a personal, intimate way. His passion for living and love
for his craft radiate from every brushstroke of his work.
in Dorchester, Massachusetts, Tom was gifted with a natural talent
for art. He drew his first sketches at the age of six and encouraged
by his parents, went on to study at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts
School and the prestigious Art Institute of Boston, where he eventually
taught. Even at a young age, Tom had a unique eye for bringing out
subtlety as he captured a moment or the poetry in a play of light.
to making painting his full time livelihood, Mielko forged ahead
with his own gallery in 1970. Through his friend and patron Anthony
Athanas, Tom established the Sextant Gallery within Athanass
renowned restaurant in Boston Harbor.
visits with his former teacher and mentor, Phil Hicken on Nantucket
Island, Tom enjoyed painting the serene beaches, grassy dunes, rose
drenched gardens, and cranberry bogs. He soon felt the need to seek
a refuge from the urban life of Boston and retreat permanently to
the unspoiled island.
settled on Nantucket, Mielko went to work for The Chelko Gallery
where he and owner, Paul Chelko, became fast friends and business
partners. One year later the gallerys name was changed to
The Chelko-Mielko Gallery. When Chelko made a move to Atlanta to
pursue abstract art, Tom stayed on in Nantucket. He established
The Mielko Gallery, in a unique, Nantucket shanty, where fishermen
once stored their nets. Mielkos highly successful gallery
continued for 35 years and became a historic Nantucket landmark,
the oldest gallery on South Wharf.
quintessential Nantucket beach scenes established his signature
style, very quickly winning the artist awards and collectors from
every part of the world. His more prominent collectors include publisher
and art collector, Malcolm Forbes; Presidents Ronald Reagan and
Bill Clinton; actress Jane Seymour, singer songwriter, Donna Summer
and former General Electric CEO, Jack Welch. His work has been included
in the collections of the Smithsonian and the Santa Barbara Historical
1979, lured by the year round warmth of southern California, Tom
began spending his winters in the picturesque town of Santa Barbara.
Like Nantucket, Santa Barbara is an internationally renowned artist
community and romantic destination. Mielko loved the juxtaposition
of the two coasts and began to develop a new dimension to his work,
illustrating both reality and imagination. His image, Diannas
Fantasy, expresses this most distinctively. With this work, Mielko
formed a composition of two entirely different locations, Californias
San Luis Obispo and Nantuckets Jetty Beach. This bicoastal
lifestyle added a dynamic perspective and uniquely seasoned dimension
to his style.
was in Santa Barbara that Mielko fell in love with and married the
true love of his life, Eileen Ingram. She was to become his greatest
muse and inspired him onto new creative heights. Eileen became his
model, business partner, and gallery co-owner and with her inspiration
Tom established his signature style, Romantic Realism.
2007, Tom and Eileen decided to make Santa Barbara their full time
residence and build their dream home. In his studio overlooking
the Pacific, Toms work now captures views of the western coastline,
historic California landmarks and private estates. His work has
been featured in numerous exhibitions and he and his work have been
the subject of featured magazine and newspaper articles. Tom continues
to receive private and commercial commissions to which he brings
a unique perspective. Both Eileen and Tom are very involved in their
community, supporting local non-profits. Some of the many organizations
they are involved with on the West Coast are the historic Lobero
Theater, Lotusland, Girls Incorporated, Heal the Ocean and City
Hearts of Los Angeles. On the East Coast, the list includes, Nantucket
Boys & Girls Club, Nantucket Cottage Hospital and the Aids Research
is a member of the National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society and
The California Arts Club. He is a former trustee of the Santa Barbara
Historical Museum and has served on the board of The Santa Barbara
the Atlantic to the Pacific, Tom Mielko brings the glorious images
of the sea to life in his original paintings, serigraphs, digital archive productions and graphics. The magic of nature and romance which he captures
in his paintings set him apart as a one of a kind
An American Romantic Painter.