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.
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.
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!
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.
Raised by two artist parents, Willow grew up around creativity. This artistic background has led her deep passion for all artforms. From the birth of the art school at age 4, Willow, has been growing her skills and is now at a place to use that knowledge to help others.
She is currently attending Wagner college to pursue a career teaching elementary age children and specializing in art. Willow especially loves mixed media and exploring various mediums including oil paint, watercolor, sewing and fabric art, etc.
She strives to make the art school a welcoming and fun place and believes everyone can be an artist!
Julia Beck has been a lifelong artist. Training under Heather Cadalzo and Rose Killmer at Inspired Minds since her childhood, Julia loves all forms of art, with a specialization in oil painting and drawing. Julia has assisted various art classes at Inspired Minds and is the current office manager at the Brielle location.
She graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from University of Michigan and is currently pursuing a Masters in Social Work at Columbia University where she specializes in working with children. Her aspirations are to incorporate art and mental health in her work in therapy with children.
At her previous positions, Julia has created art curriculums and lead art classes for the Boys & Girls Club of Newark. Julia hopes she can inspire and motivate her students the way Inspired Minds has for her throughout her artistic career!
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.
Lexi Roth is currently a senior at Rowan University majoring in Art Education. She has had a passion for art her entire life. When she was younger, it began with finger painting and gradually became more dynamic. Now she creates art from a variety of different mediums such as Printmaking, Oil Painting, Metal/Jewelry, Batiks, Crochet and so much more. She enjoys all mediums of art and finds it interesting how every artist approaches each medium with a different mindset. She strives to help all of her students find passion in their own art by helping them to unlock confidence in their art-making processes. As a new teacher at Inspired Minds, she is excited to begin her teaching journey and the road ahead!
Becca McSherry is a Graphic Design major at Penn State University and will be a senior this Fall. Among her many accomplishments, she has had her illustrations featured in several published works. Becca started taking art lessons at Inspired Minds when she was ten years old and is now back as a teacher! She has a love and passion for fine arts and loves to spread her knowledge with kids! Along with art she loves spending time with family and friends and going to the beach. She is excited to meet everyone!
Anna Yu has loved creating art ever since her childhood. Growing up, she loved crafting, drawing, and painting. She has 2+ years of teaching experience and has a passion for teaching and working with children. Recently, Anna opened an online art shop to share her artwork with others. She loves capturing the beauty of nature in her paintings, as well as painting meaningful moments/memories of friends and family. To view her artwork/online shop, you can visit https://instagram.com/sincerelyyu.rs or https://sincerelyyurs.square.site.
Anna graduated with a B.S. degree from Rutgers University. She studied Public Health, Biology, and Health Disparities. Currently, Anna works as a behavior therapist for children and adults with autism. She is studying for her Registered Behavior Technician(RBT) certificate. Anna is excited to share her love for art with her students at Inspired Minds.
Jacqueline Lejfer graduated from The University of Rhode Island in 2009 with a BS in Marketing. Although she doesn't have an art background, she loves doing arts and crafts, drawing, and coloring with her daughter. Jacqueline can't wait to learn more about art and is looking forward to exploring her artistic abilities as the new office manager at the Brielle location.