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Success Stories features Virtual Artist Talks from Art Alumni

Published October 19, 2023

Success Stories

From Art Students To Art Careers

Join us for a virtual conversation with four Studio Art alumni. 

Follow QR code or here to register on Eventbrite

Friday, October 20, 2023, 2:00 – 3:30pm on Zoom!

Success Stories is a continuing series of talks with art professionals, many of whom graduated from the Studio Art program at FSU. The goal of these talks is to provide art students with insights, inspiration, and constructive advice for their own career paths.  


Alexander Zastera

Alexander Zastera is known for their large-scale hyper surreal mystical paintings, found object installations and public performance centered around the environment. Zastera is graduating with a Masters in Environmental Studies from Florida International University and has a BFA in studio art and BA in art history from Florida State University. Based in Miami, Florida, their practice is centered around connecting people to help the local South Florida community. Their paintings start as conversations, mixers and ‘events’ the artist hosts, which then get memorialized onto canvas. Zastera’s more playful community work builds a common language of the geosciences and motivation to change our current carbon producing energy systems through public education initiatives. Using a superhero character, “the Climate Crusader ” they are building an educational web series that highlights science, the local voices of those making a difference, the how tos policy shaping, and sociology with South Florida Flare. They have been a resident artist in the Miami Dade Library system with ProjectArt USA and their work has been featured at Deep Space Gallery, & Gallery, Locust Projects, PAMM, MOCA Nomi, and Superfine! Art Fair: NYC.




Christopher Rivera

Christopher Rivera is a contemporary painter residing and working in Tallahassee Florida. His artistic practice uses paint to investigate his relationship with screen media and popular culture. As an only child in a single-parent household, he draws from the hours spent in his formative years on television and computer media. He pulls from his experience of being a person of color growing up in the early 90s to examine the ease of accessibility screen media presented to him as a child. Since the digital revolution, the curated allure of popular culture, generated by the media industries has only grown. While the internet has exponentially increased the possibility of fostering self-improving habits, it has also perfected the ease of accessibility to time-consuming entertainment media, a choice the artist struggles with.

The work references found images and video stills, reproducing this collective dynamic into a cacophony of layers and strokes of paint. These references range from art-historical to cartoons like He-Man. The iconography comes from sources such as social media logos, entertainment and food advertisements, historical popular culture ephemera, and other Americana and internet culture. This body of work combines moments of naturalist painting with illustration and graphic design. Rivera pairs expressive brushwork against moments of traditional realism to mirror the flattening visual effect screen media has on the experience of individual perception.

Rivera was invited to show work at Daytona State College (2018) and recently exhibited a solo show at the Tallahassee Airport Gallery entitled, Batteries Not Included (2019), and participated in Artfields 2021.

Rivera received his BFA with a focus in painting from the University of Central Florida (2017) and his Masters of Fine Art (2021) from Florida State University.


Erica Lomnitz

Erica Lomnitz is a recent graduate from Florida State University, earning her Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Studio Art with a minor in Museum Studies. She focuses on the documentation and dissemination of artworks and artists to enhance a collective experiences of the arts, whether that be sculpture, film, print, or music. She moved to London, England over the summer as a dual citizen to expand her connections and opportunities in a large city with an extensive art scene. She is looking at positions within creative atmospheres where she can work with a team and make meaningful connections. As an artist, Erica intermingles pop culture, art history, girlhood, fashion, music, and print. Currently, she is working towards making a book of drawings that provoke images of American/Floridian life, while blending my interests with girlish characters and tattoo design.