2019 Official Zozobra Artists

Every year, the hottest art contest in Santa Fe, NM, centers around that cranky giant with the ginormous ego, Zozobra! The pleasure of creating a personal vision of Old Man Gloom is an even hotter thrill when the winning artists see their artwork on hundreds of collectible posters and T-shirts!

The Official 2019 Zozobra Poster and Official T-shirt Contest was open to artists of all ages, and the winning poster and T-shirt was revealed at the City of Santa Fe Fourth of July Celebration at Santa Fe Place Mall! One additional artwork is chosen as the Official tickets poster.

The Official 2019 Zozobra T-shirt was designed by Virginia Asman.

Virginia Asman is no stranger to T-shirt design. Her AncientWorks collection, inspired by world-wide ancient and prehistoric art, has been successfully marketed on the east coast as well as in Santa Fe. Virginia, originally a beach bum from the shores of New Jersey, taught elementary school while crafting her artistic skills “on the side” with extensive traditional studio work. Later, after delving into the new field of digital design, she moved to New York City to embrace her second career as a graphic/production artist. Virginia became a Santa Fean in 2014, fulfilling her dream of living in the SouthWest.

With graphic art as her passion, Virginia designed posters for events at Symphony Space, Theater of the New City and Gallery35 in New York City. Working from her studio, illuminage, she has been called on to create promotionals for musical ensembles, folkdance troupes, playwrights—and oodles of non-profit groups. Virginia re-embraced fine art when she began showing her digitally-created work first in New York City and later in Santa Fe where she has exhibited at the Art on Barcelona, Santa Fe Community and Tybie Satin Davis galleries and on the 2015 Santa Fe Studio Tour.

Virginia describes her art as a fusion of her work as both a fine and graphic artist. Her creativity is unleashed by the versatility and flexibility of the digital media. Each piece is the result of much experimentation and many iterations before emerging as a whole greater than its parts, both conceptually and artistically. Her fine art and graphics work can be seen at www.vgasman.com.

Of her art for Zozobra 2019, Virginia says, “The wealth of Seventies icons made designing the 2019 Zozobra shirt so exciting! Old Man Gloom just had to be transported into the world of Saturday Night Fever, striking a John Travolta-like pose in front of a New Mexican-style disco ball. Stylized racing auto “flames” that were also popular during that era complete the picture.”

The Official 2019 Zozobra Poster was designed by Nikolas Duran-Geiger.

Nikolas Duran-Geiger spent his early childhood in Santa Fe, hunting La Llorona in the arroyo behind his house. He tucked himself in at night under his bed in hopes to befriend El Cucuy. Thus far he remains luckless in both ventures, but he remains hopeful.

Generations of New Mexican heritage gave way to his love for local folklore and legends. His imagination spices New Mexican tradition with tales of outlaws, fortunes, and misfortune.

His artwork is inspired by ghost towns, disreputable characters, and social outcasts.  He frames the grotesque with the natural beauty of the Southwest.

The Official 2019 Student T-shirt was designed by Lucia Berdejo-Leitner.

The 2019 Official Zozobra Student T-shirt was designed by LuciaBerdejó-Leitner, a second-grader at Piñon Elementary School.

Lucia Elena Berdejó-Leitner was born in Chimayo, New Mexico in the house that her grandfather built on the property that belonged to her tátara-tátara abuelo (great-great-great grandfather). She was taught to draw and paint at an early age by her grandmother, Ellen Chávez de Leitner.


Since she was two years old, Lucia has been drawing every day, creating amazing depictions of many subjects over the years, including flowers, imaginary animals, rainbow cats, space dogs, elaborate birds, dragons, fashion designs, human figures, TV characters, and things that only she could imagine. She has also painted a few retablos in the northern New Mexico tradition.


Lucia lives in Santa Fe with her brother and two sisters and Mom and stepdad. She attended first through third grade at Piñon Elementary. Lucia plans study to be an architect or a doctor.


The Official 2019 Zozobra Poster was designed by Che Kueffner.

My name is Che Kueffner. I am 14 years old,, and I have completed 8th grade at ATC. I was born in Costa Rica and I have three older siblings (2 brothers and 1 sister), a mother, stepdad and father. My family moved to New Mexico when I was 15 months old. I started watching 1930s cartoons at about 3 years of age and wanted to be able to draw like that. That started my love for drawing. I am told my art is pretty good, and I even won an award this year in school for artistic expression. I want to grow up to be an animator.

My fascination for Zozobra started when I was in elementary school. My kindergarten teacher, Mr. Gary, at Acequia Madre had us draw pictures of Zozobra. I got excited about our school field trips to see Zozobra in person. Ever sense, I have watched live streaming of Zozobra burning. I have always wanted to see him burn in person and I am hyped to see him burn in person for the first time this year. My future goals include going to art school and creating animation.


I have a small collection of Zozobra art. I have a Zozobra Piñata in my room, and a postcard with him on it. My parents even own a sketch of Zozobra with Will Shuster’s signature. With me being a fan of Zozobra, I find it a huge accomplishment that my artwork for Zozobra won the youth fan art for Zozobra’s 95th anniversary. I am excited to get a poster and a t-shirt of this year’s Zozobra art to add to my collection!


I drew Zozobra in the fashion sense of the 1970s. I thought there was a lot to work with from the seventies, Elvis Presley, The Beatles, disco, and protesting the Vietnam War.


The hand on the left, is in a peace sign, Zozobra’s hair is in an afro, and the hand on his right is a fist for justice, and the rest has to do with the Zozobra festival, with the fire dancer in the front, the fire and fireworks in the back, and the glooms climbing up Zozobra.

The Zozobra Art Deco Poster was designed by Bradley Gard.

Bradley Gard is a self-taught artist based in Albuquerque since 2011. Originally hailing from the Kansas City, MO area, he’s been drawing since childhood, fascinated by characters and ideas from classic storybooks and pop culture. He spent many long hours in libraries, museums, and movie theaters, in love with the wonders he discovered there. Following in his older brother’s footsteps and encouraged by his parents, he filled sketchbook after sketchbook with images of heroes, villains, monsters and mythical creatures. Intent on being around art as much as possible, Bradley worked in several creative fields as a young man, including stained glass and custom picture framing.

As an adult, working as a shipping clerk at a very small startup company, an opportunity arose to try his hand at graphic design. Embracing the challenge, Bradley leapt into the virtual unknown, committed to learning how to make art in the digital realm. Discovering the computer to be an ally in opening new worlds of creative expression, it is now his primary medium. The principles he learned in graphic design now inform all of his work, including his efforts in fine art. Bradley is especially influenced by the great mid-century designers such as Alexander Girard, Charley Harper and Charles and Ray Eames who, through their use of color and a careful, though sometimes playful, attention to detail and form, elevated their disciplines from merely commercial endeavors to true cultural touchstones. Having spent almost a year in Oaxaca, Mexico as a young man, he also shares his idol, Girard’s, love of folk art and is truly inspired by its simplicity, sincerity and connection to community. Having had no formal education, he considers himself a sort of modern day folk artist, utilizing new technologies to communicate timeless ideals of beauty, truth and culture.

Bradley was a featured artist at the ZozoFest Art Show last year and recently won a contest to design a new logo for the New Mexico State Land Office. He is also the owner of Maxwell Crawford Design Studio. Bradley’s lovely wife, Rachel, is a talented photographer and together they have four beautiful daughters and one strapping son. They love living in the Land of Enchantment with all it has to offer in the way of art, culture, cuisine, history and the great outdoors.

Bradley's 2019 poster design is inspired by the exuberance and experimentation of the 1970s. Zozobra sports the iconic “Afro” hairstyle which, in turn, becomes the match head at the center of the flame which will ultimately consume him. The colors and layout are informed largely by the bold graphic design of the era which graced book, magazine and album covers as well as concert and movie posters. This is interpreted through the artist’s personal style which is defined by minimalist sensibilities emphasizing balance, symmetry and clarity, all while attempting to acknowledge and honor Zozobra’s roots in folk art and tradition.

The 2019 Zozobra Tickets Poster was designed by Phyllis Roybal.

The 2019 Zozobra Tickets Poster was designed by Phyllis Roybal.

Phyllis is an art teacher for Piñon Elementary school and Santa Fe Public Schools and has been a great friend to Zozobra for many years. She is a native of Santa Fe but grew up throughout New Mexico. Phyllis graduated from Santa Fe High School as did both my parents. Her Grandmother is related to Nicholas Ortiz and was the head housekeeper at La Fonda from 1949 to the 1970s. The high school gymnasium is named after Phyllis' uncle Toby. Phyllis received a BFA from New Mexico Highlands University and an MFA from Boston University. She is a past president of the New Mexico Art Education Association and has been a volunteer for the Folk Art Market.

Phyllis is also responsible for inspiring Santa Fe Public School kids to create hundreds of Zozobra drawings every year!

Phyllis says, "The 70's were a happy time in my life and I wanted to make an image that would best represent this decade. When I saw the lava lamp I knew that I wanted to use it for my design."