Mirjana Mladinov exhibits ceramic art beginning May 2


Mirjana Mladinov, St. Paul JCC Jewish cultural arts director, has worked professionally as a ceramic muralist, set and costume designer and graphic designer. Her ceramic tile art will be on display at the JCC beginning Sunday, May 2, with an opening at 11 a.m. and continuing through June 11. This is Mirjana's first solo exhibit in Minnesota, and it is free and open to the public.

"I see the two areas of my artistic work as complementary to each other. Theater design is large scale, includes team work and is very public and temporary. Tile design is small scale, individual, private and durable. Whenever I do tile design, I feel that I am leaving my mark for eternity. Short of smashing them, ceramic tiles are indestructible. They preserve their brilliance and beauty for thousands of years," Mirjana says. "It is not surprising that my Jewish identity found an outlet in this medium. My work retains an intimate quality even when it is on a large scale, because every individual tile is a self-contained unit."

Originally from Yugoslavia, Mirjana came to the U.S. in 1980 and to Minnesota in 1998 to work at the JCC. She studied ceramics with Yugoslavian master ceramist Jasna Kozlovic Heim. Developing her own style, she has been creating tile murals since coming to the U.S. Most of her murals have a Jewish subject, and her first major work was crafting a Biblical panel based on the medieval illuminated cover of the Schoken Bible. She has created a ceramic ketubah and also mezzuzot and several new works especially for this exhibit. She has had exhibits in Boston, Worcester, Newport and New York at the Jewish Museum, and many of her tiled panels are exhibited in synagogues and private homes throughout the country.

Besides her tile work, Mirjana has also designed costumes and sets for operas, plays, ballets and television in Italy (Festival of Two Worlds), Yugoslavia (Opera Houses in Split and Osijek), Israel (Habimah, Khan) and in the U.S., mostly in New England. She worked for New Rep., Rhode Island Shakespeare Theater, Forum, Nora, Ocean Stage Repertory Theater and Jewish Theater of New England, as well as Minnesota Jewish Theatre.

She holds a master's degree in Jewish communal service from Brandeis University and a bachelor of fine arts degree in set and costume design from the Academy of Arts, Rome, Italy.