Mary Lou Foley, Bear Artist
In the early 90′s, I attended my first bear show on a whim. I had never seen artist bears and had just finished making and selling two little bears I had designed myself. So after reading about the local show in a Teddy Bear magazine I had thumbed through at a newsstand, I decided to go. I was amazed at what I saw. I discovered mohair, I spoke with the artists. The rest is history. My history.
I’ve been designing and creating bears as a bear artist since 1995. Trained as a fine artist and craftsperson, I already possessed a “think outside the box” attitude and I was one of the first to develop a realistic open mouth design that didn’t just consist of a flap added as a lower jaw. I had great success at shows and soon found my niche in making polar bears.
In 2000, my mother and cub design titled “I Love You WIth All My Heart” won a TOBY award and Golden Teddy Award as well as best in show at the National. That January, they graced the cover of Teddy Bear & Friends magazine. This was a turning point in my career and I went on to enjoy many years of success, winning many more national awards for my polar bear designs.