While I was in Galena over the Memorial Day Observance I stopped into the River Bend Gallery. The gallery is owned by our friend Geoffrey Mikol. His photography is outstanding and I bought my first Geoffrey for our office that day!


Tony & Geoffrey at River Bend Gallery

If you go to Galena, stop by the Gallery and tell them, “Tony sent me!”

The River Bend Gallery, 243 N Main Street, Galena, IL or Geoffrey Mikol Photography.

Below is a feature story on Geoffrey and the gallery.


Local Artist Stirs Midwest Region

He’s just like any other 22 year old that has gone to college, honed his talent over years of practice and decided to open his own business to make his mark on the world. And that’s exactly how he expects the world to interact with him.


On the North End of Main Street in Galena, Illinois, River Bend Gallery is among the newest of businesses in this destination town in the northwest corner of the state. The neat, brick-walled and original 1800s building is full of his artwork hung in understated black frames; his short documentary plays in the background. Despite being a brand new business, he’s getting quite a bit of attention and sales from the street traffic and on his website at www.gmikol.com.


Geoffrey Mikol has a talent of capturing zen-like images on his Nikon camera that reflect serenity. He and his camera work seamlessly together to find not only images such as lakes, forests, architectural interests and rocks but also elusive light in those images that has many professional photographers standing in awe as they peer into his photographs.



“I’ve been chasing that light my whole life, may shot it twice in that whole time,” said one seasoned photographer. “It’s in every one of his pieces.”

Another customer came in. She went right to one of the pieces, called “First Light,” and said that was the one she wanted to buy. “I saw this two months ago. I left without getting it then, and I haven’t stopped thinking about it every day since. It’s beautiful and haunting at the same time.” She made the trip back to Galena just to get this picture for her home.

He’s a man of few words but always has time to say hello to people visiting his gallery.


Almost Wine

Geoffrey is working on expanding his Midwest region portfolio and recently came back from a week of photo shooting in Iowa and in Galena, a place rich with historical beauty. His work was chosen by the University of Minnesota to be exhibited on campus for three months beginning in September. Businesses are making portfolio purchases for decorating buildings and for corporate gifts in addition to individual sales. He’ll also be hosting private exhibits of his new work in local bed and breakfast venues in Galena this summer. It’s a family business, with his father Paul working with him on the day to day operations.

If you get a chance to visit River Bend in Galena, Illinois, the experience is likely one that you won’t soon forget. In the very best of ways.

Geoffrey Mikol, photographer and business owner of River Bend Gallery in Galena, Illinois, peers into his camera on a local photo shoot. “Almost Wine,”  is one of several popular photographs currently offered. Galena  on a busy summer day.

tony signature

Tony Paulauski
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)
815-464-1832 (CELL)