Zlata Baum was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia where she lived until the age of twelve when she moved with her family to New York City. Zlata graduated from Smith College in Northampton, MA with a B.A. in Studio Art. She then attended the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, CA where she received a B.F.A. in Sculpture. Zlata earned her M.F.A. in Sculpture at Mills College, also in Oakland, CA.
Following graduate school, Zlata began a multi-faceted career as an arts administrator, educator and artist. She has been fortunate to work at outstanding regional art galleries, museums, and academic institutions across the country including: the Allrich Gallery; Richmond Art Center; Mills College Art Gallery in the SF Bay Area; Wexner Center for the Arts, at the Ohio State University, in Columbus, OH; and The University of Michigan School of Art and Design in Ann Arbor, MI. Since coming to MICA in 2000, Zlata has been teaching in the Summer MFA program. She has exhibited her installation-based artwork in California, the Midwest and New York.
Zlata's integrated professional experience in both the academia and the art world has helped her to focus MICA's low-residency MFA in Studio Art on meeting the needs of working graduate students as they develop a reflective and engaged studio practice in concert with sustainable careers and lives.