Bohemiawerks was first laid to paper in the fall of 2000 as the creative studio of its owners, Katherine Jones and Brad Jirka. It is the realization of their desire to focus on their creative works and the culmination of their twenty five years of efforts to bring their studiowork to the forefront of their activities.
Bohemiawerks is actually the reincarnation of B. Jirka & Associates, their 28 year old business that "would do anything... once", and the evolution of their production studio, St. Elmo's Inc., which created illuminated objects, fixtures, displays, functional art, architectural neon, and large scale installations of their own and other artists for the 17 years. St. Elmo's also owned and operated The American School of Neon, an internationally recognized leader in the training of Neon glass technicians.
Brad and Katherine see Bohemiawerks as the vehicle for their own work, and the benefactor of their vast experience in creative production, as they move away from the contract work of St. Elmo's to return to the creative endeavors of their studio.
They return to their passions....
Studio Capabilities, Materials and Services:
The work we do ranges from objects to installations, private to public art, and almost any scale. Often utilizing light and motion the works are intended to connect with the explorer in all of us.
We will still pretty much "do anything... once" as long as we can get excited about it. This is not to say that some parts of our activities are not mundane, and that we won't do things that are, but rather that we only want to produce the best and we know we can't do that unless the project is exciting and challenging to us.
Our experiences range from jewelryesque objects to illuminated architectural installations atop skyscrapers. We are comfortable and used to working with owners and their representatives, architects, engineers, lighting designers, and contractors while always enjoying the experience. We pride ourselves on maintaining our budget and production schedule while anticipating the needs of our clients. We want everyone involved in a project to enjoy the process as much as we do.
Material Favorites: Fabrication in Domestic and Exotic Hardwoods; Machining, Casting, and Forming Metals and Plastics; Composite Fiberglass and Foam; Adhered Vinyl, Painted, and Powder Coated Finishes; LED, Cold Cathode, Neon and Various Light Sources; Electric Motors, Components and Electronic Controllers; Bone, Ivory, Silver, Gold, Tin, Bakelite, Pewter, and Stone Details.
Services: In addition to creating our studio objects we also love commissions, private or public, large or small; offer production and design of illuminated objects of all types; and enjoy design - build projects.
St. Elmo's specialties included design and fabrication of difficult architectural neon applications and we do not want to leave our past clients stranded without the option of still accessing our knowledge in the area. To these ends we still offer St. Elmo's services of Research and Development of new products, techniques and systems for Cold Cathode Luninous Tubing (aka: neon); Consulting on Neon lighting, signage, murals, and custom fixtures; Consulting and training for Neon production shop operations and applications; and Visual and Technical Design.
Brad P. Jirka is an Associate Professor of Fine Arts at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design with a focus in Sculpture, Artists Furniture, three dimensional studies, advanced computer modeling, and fringe technologies. Currently at the college he is spending much of his time researching Rapid Prototyping and 3D computer modeling and recently received a Faculty Development Grant to explore integrated electronic components for his sculpture. His kinetic, illuminated, and interactive objects and installations have been included in numerous exhibitions and collections.
Brad was a co-founder and lead instructor at the American School of Neon, Mpls.; one of the founding partners and Vice President of Design for St. Elmo's Inc., a nationally recognized producer of creative lighting; has sat on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Sign Association since its inception and is a past president; and is an owner of B. Jirka & Associates and it's subsidiary, Bohemiawerks.
Katherine Jones was a co-founder and the Director of the American School of Neon, Mpls.; and was one of the founding partners and CEO of St. Elmo's Inc., a nationally recognized producer of creative and architectural lighting.
Katherine's individual studio works have spanned the realms of sculptural kinetic, illuminated, and interactive objects and installations with a focus on exquisite patterning and the sophisticated use of materials. Her works have been included in numerous exhibitions and collections.
Katherine and Brad have completed major commissions for the Minnesota State Arts Board Percent for Art program, the Cray Research training facility in Minnesota, the Duluth Public Arts Commission and the Wisconsin Arts Board.
A few of St. Elmo's Twin Cities projects are readily seen in the exterior neon details at the Target Center NBA Arena in downtown Minneapolis, the exterior arcade lighting at the Minneapolis Convention Center, the Rosedale Mall neon roses, The Opus Tower skyways, and in the Neon Riverboat Mural spanning Hennepin Ave. at Riverplace.
They have made presentations to audiences at Lightfair International, The Midwest Sign Horizons Conferences, International Sign Association Conventions, the Illuminating Engineers Society, The Associates of the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts, the Walker Art Center, the Designers Lighting Forum, the Minnesota Association of Electrical Engineers, and the Minnesota Annual Institute for Building Officials.
Bohemiawerks - Katherine Jones and Brad Jirka
DESIGNATED: Public Art Design Team Resource; Wisconsin Arts Board 2001-05
Wisconsin Art Board; University of Wisconsin; LaCrosse; % for Art 2005
Wisconsin Art Board; University of Wisconsin; Parkside; % for Art 2003
Trustees of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design; Mpls: Sculp Edition 2002
Duluth Public Arts Commission; Percent for Arts; Omni Theater, Duluth, MN. 1997
Minnesota State Arts Board; Percent for the Arts Program; Thief River Falls, MN 1994
"The Flibbertigibbets Meet the Newtonian Proxies"
For the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center.
Allan Residence/Criteria Inc.; Ceiling Installation, light and material, Afton, MN. 1995-98
Minnesota State Arts Board; Percent for the Arts Program; 1993-94
"Mechanicks of the Ether"; Large scale light and material.
Northwest Tech. College Aviation Facility, Thief River Falls, MN.
Cray Research; Wall installation, light and material, Eagan, MN. 1990-91
Hendrickson Collection; Wall installation, light and material, Eagan, MN. 1990
Neon Dynamics; Sculptural Display, Natl. Elec. Sign Assoc. International 1988-90
Galtier Plaza, "Northern Lights" Tech. development, collaborative, St. Paul. 1985
Opus Corporation, Architectural Neon Detailing, Mpls., MN. 1984-88
Minnesota Museum of Art, "Gallery 540; Kidspace", St. Paul 1983
Photo/Sculpture Commission; Dayton's; Arts Magazine, Mpls. Institute of the Arts 1983
Riverplace Neon Riverboat; East Bank Riverfront Partners, Mpls. 1982
Neon and Kinetic Displays; Childrens Museum, Mpls. 1981
Neon Graphics; Walker Art Center, Mpls. 1980
Neon Graphics; Technical Wing, Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul. 1979
Neon Theater Set; "Story Theater", Mpls. 1979
Neon Wall & Neon Mural, Dayton's Dept. Stores, Mpls. 1978
Neon Window & Store Installations, Dayton's, Mpls. 1978-87
Neon Chandelier & Illumination, Castle Royal, St. Paul. 1977
Target Center NBA Arena: Exterior Cold Cathode Lighting Gausman and Moore Mpls, MN
Minneapolis Convention Center: Interior Cove and Ext Arcade Light Fixtures Mpls,MN
Opus Tower: Architectural Neon Detailing Opus Corporation Mpls, MN.
Brainerd Technical College: Interior Light Arch Detailing, Brainerd, MN.
Dain Bosworth Tower: Illuminated animated Fixtures Shea Architects Mpls, MN
Rosedale Shopping Center: Entry Area Murals (5) The Alliance Architects Roseville, MN
Betty Brinn Children's Museum; Illuminated Objects and fixtures Kahler/Slater Archi. Wis.
Marcheschi Projects: Fabrication and project management IA, NY, CA, MI
Sterner Lighting Systems: Custom lighting fixtures NJ, Denver
HGA/Carol Chaffee Projects: Custom Illuminated Objects and Lighting WI, MN
Grand Portage Casino: "Linear Northern Lights" Art Jones-Jirka Grand Port,MN.
Treasure Island Casino: Interior Cold Cathode Architectural Detailing Red Wing, MN
Rainbow Casino: Exterior Signage Knutson Architects Mpls, MN
Fond Du Luth Gaming Casino: Interior Cold Cathode Kraus-Anderson Const. Duluth, MN
Holiday Station Stores: Neon Signage Packages (300) Holiday Stores Inc. Mpls, MN.
Centennial Office Building: Interior Cold Cathode Bernard Jacobs, Archi. St. Paul, MN
University of St. Thomas: Exterior Neon Clocks Collisys Mpls, MN
Walker Art Center: Neon Graphics Mpls, MN
Science Museum of MN: Neon Graphics (original location) St. Paul, MN.
Daytons: Neon Window and Store Installations Mpls, MN
Castle Royal: Neon Chandelier and Illumination St. Paul, MN
Rapid Prototype Exhibition; International Market Square; Mpls, MN 2005
Moves; Jirka, The Rochester Art Center; Rochester, MN 2004
Light and Action; Jirka and Koloski; Flaten Art Museum; Northfield, MN 2004
Digital Travelers; Rourke Museum, Moorehead Minnesota 2002
Faculty Exhibitions; Jirka, Minneapolis College of Art and Design; Mpls., MN. 1983-2005
"Southeastern Mn. Art Exhibition"-juried; Rochester Art Center; Rochester, MN. 1998
"Private to Public"; Minneapolis College of Art and Design Gallery; Mpls, MN 1996
St. Elmo's; Gallery Artists, Minneapolis, Minnesota 1985-1996
University of Minnesota Gallery Funding Exhibition/Auction; Mpls, MN. 1995
"Masters of Instruction", Art Acquisitions Inc., The St. Paul Companies, St. Paul 1989
"Objects Minneapolis", North Dakota Museum of Art, Grand Forks, North Dakota. 1989
"Ornamentalism", Art Acquisitions Inc., The St. Paul Companies, St. Paul. 1985
"Illuminated Objects", St. Elmo's, Minneapolis, Minnesota 1985
"1984", The Arts Consortium, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1984
Midwest Electric Art; Rochester Art Center, Rochester, Minnesota. 1984
"Brad Jirka; Recent Works", Solo, The Ritz Gallery, SDSU, Brookings, SD 1983
"Devices", Edna Carlsten Gallery, University of Wis., Stevens Point, Wisconsin. 1983
"Gallery 540: Kidspace", Minnesota Museum of Art, Landmark Center, St. Paul. 1983
Midwest Electric Art; Duluth Art Institute, Duluth, Minnesota. 1983
"Can't be Toasters, Must be Art", University of Wis.- Stout, Menomonie, Wis. 1982
"Alumni Exhibition", Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis. 1982
"Midwest Electric Art", Schaeffer Gallery, Gustavaus Adolphus Col, St. Peter, MN. 1981
"Midwest Electric Art", Boca Raton Center for the Arts, Boca Raton, Florida 1981.
"15th Annual National show", Del Mar College, Corpus Christi, Texas. 1981
"Midwest Electric Art", The Dolly Fiterman Gallery, Minneapolis, MN. 1980
Invitational - Fort Mango, Minneapolis, Minnesota. 1980
Minnesota Artists Gallery, Mpls. Institute of the Arts, Mpls., MN. 1980
"Midwest Electric Art Remembers Edison", Dolly Fiterman/Forecast, Mpls. 1979
"New Talent", The Morgan Gallery, Kansas City, Missouri. 1979
Commencement Exhibition, BFA; Jones, The Mpls. College of Art and Design, Mpls. 1979
"Gallery Artists", The Electric Gallery, Toronto, Canada. 1978
"Electric Art", Pavilion for the Arts, Chicago, Illinois. 1977
"It's Electric", The Helen Euphrant Gallery, Cupertino, California.1977
"Minnesota Sculptors '77", Minnesota Museum of Art, St. Paul, MN.1977
"Equilibrium and Motion", Solo; The Underground Gallery, Minneapolis, Minnesota. 1976
"Minnesota Gas", Rochester Art Center, Rochester, Minnesota. 1976
"Festival of the Arts-'76", University of Wis., Whitewater, Wisconsin. 1976
"Midwest Electric Art - Current Works", Janet Wallace Fine Art Center, St. Paul. 1976
Commencement Exhibition, BFA; Jirka, The Mpls. College of Art and Design, Mpls. 1976
"Wings Show", MCAD Staircase Gallery, Minneapolis, MN. 1976
Sculpture Exhibition, MCAD Sculpture Gallery, Minneapolis, MN. 1976
"Minneapolis Group Show", The Electric Gallery, Toronto, Canada. 1975
"Midwest Electric Art", Union Art Gallery, M.S.U., Mankato, MN. 1975
"Brad Jirka - Norman Andersen", The Electric Gallery, Toronto, Canada. 1974
"The Art Circus", The West Bank Firehouse, Minneapolis, MN. 1974
Jirka; Associate Professor; Fine Arts Department.-The Minneapolis College of Art and Design 1980-05
Jones; Artist, Lead Project Manager; Bohemiawerks 2002-05
Jones; Project Manager, Gruppo Inc, Mpls, MN. 2002
Jones; CEO/ St. Elmo's Inc. 1990-01
Jirka; Vice Pres. Design/ St. Elmo's Inc. 1990-01
Jones; Director of the American School of Neon 1984-95
Jirka; Technical Designer; Various Marcheschi Projects 1987-1992
Jones & Jirka; Visual/Technical Designer-Neon Dynamics sculptural displays 1987-91
Jirka; Consulting Engineer; Neon Dynamics transformer project, Mpls., MN. 1987-95
Jones; Marketing Consultant; Neon Dynamics, Mpls., MN 1987-95
Jirka; Special Lecturer; The American School of Neon 1989-95
Jirka; Instructor; The American School of Neon, Advanced techniques 1984-90
General Partners; St. Elmo's Kitchen Limited Partnership 1984-89
Construction Specialist; Cork Marcheschi's Actors Theater Marquee 1985
Design and built Geodesic Dome Residence and studio 1985
Neon Theater Lighting, Robert Wilson's "Knee Plays", Walker Art Center 1984
Co-founders: The American School of Neon 1984
Jirka; Instructor; Extension Programs, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design 1977-84
Owner: B. Jirka & Associates, 1976-04
Jirka; Construction Specialist, Cork Marcheschi's "Long Green", Mpls. 1981
Jirka; Neon Specialist & Consultant, Cork Marcheschi's City Light Project, Seattle 1980
Officers; Midwest Center for the Research and Development of Electric Art, 1976-78
Jirka; Exhibition Designer; "Technology as Art", MCAD Galleries, Mpls., MN. 1976-77
Jirka; Construction Supervisor; Cork Marcheschi's Mississippi River Project, 1976
The Walker Art Center, Mpls., MN.
Jirka; Kinetic Specialist; "Discoverama", WTCN Metromedia Television, Mpls. 1976
Work Review; Racquet; UW La Crosse 2004NEON, The Next Generation; Blazek 1995
Work Featured: Northern Watch; Thief River Falls, MN 1994
Work Featured: The Times; Thief River Falls, MN 1994
Work Featured: "Eye Candy"; Encounters, Science Museum of MN. 1993
Article: "Neon Lights Up a Room", Associated Press Release 1993
Contributor/Work Featured: Contemporary Neon Art, Rudy Stern 1991
Work Featured: The Magic of Neon, Michael Webb, 1st & 2nd editions 1983-88 Ed.
Work Featured: Architecture Minnesota, Jan/Feb. 1985
Work Featured: Traveling exhibition of Neon, Smithsonian Institute 1984
Article: "Three Electric Artists", Arts, Society of Fine Arts, Mpls. 1984
Article: "Devices", New Arts Examiner. 1983
Article: Twin Cities Magazine, Art Section, Nov. 1981
Minneapolis Tribune, William Hegeman, Jan. 1981
Sun Sentinel/Fort Lauderdale - Palm Beach, Pete Gordon, Sept. 1981
Boca Raton News, Sept 9th &15th, Heidi Tuby & Bobin Engel 1981
Entertainments/Arts, Mpls. Tribune, Liz Miller, Dec. 1979
Preview, Minneapolis Star, Shannon King, Dec. 1979
Work Featured: Duluth Television 1996
"That Amazing Neon"; Narrative and work featured,
Free Style Productions, Ind. Video Prod. 1992
"Hometime"; Public Broadcasting Service, Minneapolis, Mn. 1989
Panel member-"Modern Art"; Twin Cities Live, KSTP-TV, Mpls., MN. 1988
For St. Elmo's; KSTP TV, Mpls, MN 1987-88
Work Featured; "Devices", Public Broadcasting Service, Wisconsin. 1984
Work featured, NBC-TV, Miami, Florida. 1981
PM Magazine; "Midwest Electric Art", WCCO-TV (CBS) 1980
Work Featured, Appearance; Twin Cities Today, KSTP-TV (ABC). 1979
Work Featured; "Art with a Plug", KTCA-TV (PBS), Mpls. 1976
Faculty Support Grant; Electronic Integration; MCAD 2005Academic Sabbatical; The Minneapolis College of Art and Design 2003
Wisconsin Arts Board Design Team Resource designation CurrentSE MN. Art Exhibition, Award for Mixed Media; Rochester Art Center 1998
Academic Sabbatical; The Minneapolis College of Art and Design 1995
National Electric Sign Association competition;
Third Place: Neon Art & Display Lighting, St. Elmo's 1988
Honorable Mention: Neon Art & Display Lighting, St. Elmo's/Jirka 1988
National Electric Sign Assoc. competition; First Place Commercial Neon; St. Elmo's 1987
Minnesota State Arts Board Residency Grant, 1984
"CUE" Award for Neon Riverboat Mural, Center for Urban Environment. 1984
LECTURER AND VISITING ARTISTS:
Movement in Sculpture St. Olaf College Nfld, MN.
44th Annual Institute for Building Officials; University of Minnesota Mpls, Mn
Fine Arts Forum Mpls. College of Art and Design Mpls, Mn
Lightfair International McCormick Place Chicago, Il
Horizons '92 Conf. Midwest Sign Supply St. Paul, Mn
Horizons '91 Conf. Midwest Sign Supply St. Paul, Mn
New American Glass Show Davenport Museum of Art Davenport,Ia
National Electric Sign Assoc. Central Sign Show Chicago, Il
Illuminating Engineers Society - North Central Regional Technical Conference. Indianapolis,In
Society of Illuminating Engineers Minneapolis Chapter Mpls, MN.
Honeywell Radio Tour St. Elmo's, Inc. Mpls, MN.
Mpls. Society of Fine Arts Associates Tour, St. Elmo's, Inc. Mpls, MN.
Walker Art Center NeonNights Bus Tour Mpls, MN.
VINE: Park High School Cottage Grove, Minnesota
Designers Lighting Forum American Institute of Archi. Mpls MN
MN. Assoc. Electrical Eng. American Institute of Archi. Mpls MN
MSAB Residency North High Magnet Arts School Mpls, MN.
Visiting Artist South Dakota State University Brookings, SD
Technology and Art Mpls College of Art and Design Mpls, MN.
Visiting Artist University of Wisconsin Whitewater
International Sculpture Center 1994-05
Kinetic Art Organization 2003-05
American Craft Council 2002-05
Furniture Society 2002-05
Minnesota Sign Association; Board of Directors, Past President 1986-00