Heather Cadalzo, co-owner of Inspired Minds, graduated from the School of Visual Arts, NYC, with a BFA in Illustration in 2002. She has since been working as a freelance portrait artist; her paintings have been commissioned for numerous private collections. In 2002, she found her calling as an instructor when she returned to Riverview Art School, Islands Heights, where she had studied as a teen under master painter Elaine Sgambati. She served as the head children’s oil painting instructor there for five years.
In 2006, Rose and Heather joined up to form Inspired Minds- an art school modeled after Riverview, where she could pass down her artistic knowledge & skills to others and promote creativity on a daily basis. She feels blessed to be someone who truly loves her job! Her work has been shown in many galleries locally and has won the Statewide Juried Art Competition in 2006 and 2007. Heather also serves as a Board Member at the Art Alliance in Red Bank. She has recently completed her Masters in Occupational Therapy, and is working to help others in a creative way.
To view her artwork visit www.heatherspaintings.com
Heather's masterpiece however are her two daughters, Willow and Leia.
Rose Killmer, co-owner of Inspired Minds, graduated in 1994 with a B.A. of Fine Art with a concentration in Commercial Art from Georgian Court University. Here she studied oil and watercolor painting, printmaking, & sculpture. After 14 years working in the communications and graphics industry,
she started her teaching career at Riverview Art School in Island Heights, where she first met Heather. This one day a week class started a love of teaching that continues to grow to this day. Heather and Rose's friendship grew and In 2006, they opened up Inspired Minds Fine Art School, a dream job for sure! Rose is married and has one daughter and a dog named Charlie. Other than teaching, Rose works as a commissioned artist and graphic designer. In her personal work she concentrates on painting flowers, landscapes, and portraits in oil and watercolors. She is currently showing her artwork in Main Street Gallery in Manasquan, NJ. Rose constantly is creating new artwork, continuing to keep her graphic skills up to date and is taking continuing education courses to work towards her NJ Teaching Certificate.
You can see her art at rosekillmer.com
Brittany James graduated from Montclair State University with a BFA degree concentrated in oil painting in 2009 and has been a full-time artist ever since. In addition, she teaches art classes for children at Inspired Minds Fine Art School in Lincroft and adults at Art629 Gallery in Asbury Park. She is experienced in oil painting, acrylic murals, performance art, charcoal drawing, life drawing, printmaking, and sculpture. She also strongly believes in the healing therapy of art-making and self-expression and enjoys helping others create. All of James’ paintings are derived from a combination of photo references and imagined scenes to create surreal images. As a Jersey Shore native, James began painting in Island Heights and was inspired by the beauty of her surroundings. Nature has always been a big influence in her work and continues to be today. James has painted live on stage at the State Theater in New Brunswick and the Paramount Theater in Asbury Park during Glen Burtnik’s British Invasion shows, and was part of a performance art piece during the Summer of Love concert at Count Basie Theater in Red Bank. She has been a muralist and featured artist for the Asbury Underground Art & Music Crawl, and has shown her work in several New Jersey galleries including Torche Gallery in Belmar, Art629 Gallery in Asbury Park, Concrete Galleries in Red Bank, and George Segal Gallery in Montclair.
You can see her art at http://www.brittanyjamesart.webs.com.
Kara Armellino is a professional artist and currently an Art and Education major at Monmouth University. She has recently traveled through Europe with fellow artists, spending time in Prague, Paris, and Amsterdam. While there she visited museums such as the Louve, Rijksmuseum, and the Haag, and got to see first hand different art forms from around the world. Aside from working towards her teaching certificate, Kara has years of teaching experience. She first found her love of teaching at Corpus Christi School in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ., where she taught CCD for five years. As Kara looks forward to her future career in art instruction, she is happy to be a part of Inspired Minds.
Rachel Lee graduated from SUNY Purchase College with a BFA in 2016. She currently works as a freelance illustrator. She is passionate about sharing her love of learning and creating with her students. Rachel has always loved stories and adventure. As a child, she drew characters constantly. As an adult, she hasn’t lost her love of stories or creating characters, but instead, has learned to hone her artistic skills to match the scope of her imagination.
Among her many other endeavors, Rachel just finished creating the art for an online webcomic, and she is loving teaching the Comics and Illustration class at Inspired Minds!
Growing up, Brendan Sullivan was immersed in anime, graphic novels and all things cartoonish. This led to a passion for illustration, and a love for drawing, that culminated in a Bachelors degree in Fine Arts at Monmouth University. Today, he has a strong foundation in both painting, and drawing with a focus still on illustration. He has used his skill to create album work for local bands, paint murals and continue personally illustrating. His own passion for art inspired him to start teaching younger generations, who have that same curiosity and budding love for art, by making it fun at any skill level.
Rachel Repole graduated from Pace University in 2018 with a BA in Stage Management and a minor in Arts & Entertainment Management. She currently works as an Education Associate at the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, NJ. Her love of the fine arts started when she was 6 studying under Mrs. Heather at the Riverview Art School in Island Heights. She continued to study with Mrs. Heather and Mrs. Rose when they first opened Inspired Minds in Lincroft. It was there she studied oil paint, charcoal and pastel. During college she continued to learn and master other mediums like acrylic and watercolor. She has taken her experience in the fine arts and has applied it to years of scenic painting both in NYC, Ocean and Monmouth County. She also uses her experience to work on privately commissioned pieces. Rachel’s love for the arts runs deeply in all facets and she aspires to make the arts accessible and educational for children of all backgrounds and needs. To check out some of her work and to see what pieces she is currently working on check out her instagram @rrepole23.
A BFA graduate of Pratt Institute, Allison has owned and taught at her own school, Kids Art Studio, for the past 30 years. We are honored to have her join our team at Inspired Minds! She is past president of the Ocean County Artists' Guild in Island Heights and a member of the Ocean County Cultural and Heritage Commission. Allison has shown work at both Ocean County College and Georgian Court University.
Sara Zorns grew up with a love and passion for drawing characters, writing stories, creating stop motion animation, and playing video games. Her love for storytelling and creating projects didn't stop in adulthood, and she received a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Rowan University with a focus in art, animation and game design. She has created logos, animation for video games, and illustrations for children's books. She is currently a freelance artist, a paraprofessional at Mill Pond Elementary School, and a teacher at Inspired Minds. Sara is always excited to share her experience and knowledge of the arts with her students to help them bring their imaginations to life!
Alena Kumta graduated with her BFA in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts (SVA NYC) in 2015. Skilled in many fine art processes, some of her favorites include oil painting, watercolor, fiber arts & weaving, printmaking, sculpture, and community/social art projects. Inspired Minds hosted one of her community weaving projects in 2015.
Alena is thrilled to be teaching at Inspired Minds where she began her journey towards becoming a professional artist. Inspired Minds nurtured her creativity, cultivated her skill, and sparked her love of teaching. She is proud to nurture young artists in their creative foundations just as was done for her over a decade ago in Rose’s found sculpture class and Heather’s oil painting!
Since finishing her art degree, Alena has taught art, yoga, and mindfulness to both children and adults of all abilities in traditional and unique settings, while honing her design skills working in a local art gallery.
In 2019 she completed her graduate degree in Occupational Therapy, inspired by the intersections of her love of art, mindfulness, movement, child development, and facilitating health & wellness through meaningful activity.
When Alena is not teaching, making art, or growing her career in occupational therapy, you can find her enjoying local nature with her sisters and dogs.
Kelly Feliciano has an overactive imagination. She lives an inspired life full of art, design and does not go a day without working on her craft. Kelly took her first graphic design class at M.H.S. way back in 2005, then landed in a specialized design program at Communications High School that paved the way for her creative career. She studied at the prestigious Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY before setting off for La Escuela de Artes Plasticas de Puerto Rico. She managed to learn Spanish and catch waves between classes while achieving her Bachelor's of Fine Arts in Graphic Design with a minor in Textile Design. After spending many years in Puerto Rico, Kelly has established her studio, El Subi Workshop, in New Jersey and is excited to join Inspired Minds as their expert on graphic design, animation and video art! You can see her work at www.be.net/kellyfeliciano