Zlata was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia where she lived until the age of twelve before moving with her family to New York City. She received undergraduate degrees from Smith College and California College of Arts and Crafts and an M.F.A. in Sculpture from Mills College. Over the years, Zlata has had 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 from the SF Bay Area to the Midwest to the Mid Atlantic. Since 2002 Zlata has been directing the MFA in Studio Art program at MICA. Zlata has been working both on her own and collaboratively with Jamy Sheridan on art projects for a number of years. They have exhibited their installation-based artwork in Northern California, the Midwest, New York and Baltimore and have presented lectures about their work in Norway, England, Spain, Germany and across the US.
Integrating professional experience in both the academia and the art world has helped Zlata 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.