PO Box 236, Atlantic Highlands, NJ 07716, US

Strengthening Community through the Arts!

Atlantic Highlands Arts Council

Gina Cioffi


Celia Connaire


I grew up drawing X-Men comics with my grade school friends, watching the same Tom Baker Doctor Who episodes on PBS over and over again, reading Stephen King, and getting dropped off to see Mad Max and the Road Warrior double features at a local repertory theater.  I went on to read Love & Rockets, attend Rhode Island School of Design for illustration, and to study art history at Boston University.

I'm a visual storyteller, working in both traditional and digital media.  I make prints, comics, zines, and drawings, and have illustrated a variety of fantasy and horror stories.  

I'm a member of the Graphic Artists Guild, the Ocean County Artists Guild, The Belmar Arts Council, and the Printmaking Center of NJ; and one of the directors of of the Asbury Park chapter of Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School. 

Neelam Padte


Born in Mumbai, India - surrounded by artists and musicians, Neelam Padte quickly discovered her creative spirit and developed a keen interest in various forms of art. After earning a BFA in Graphic Design from University of Mumbai, Neelam emigrated to the United States in 1984. While raising her family she studied Computer Graphics. She worked for 2 years as a Computer Graphics Designer, and then trained in Web Designing as well as Computer Programming.
While working as a programmer for a large telecommunications company she quenched her artistic thirst by painting on glass, wood, fabrics, and canvas. After being laid off during the economic downturn of 2001, she became a full-time floorcloth (hand-painted canvas rug) artist. The patterns of her floorcloths are inspired by Colonial American wall and floor designs. She also creates one of a kind pieces as per supplied designs. Her floorcloths are durable and easy to maintain. She has been recognized by Early American Life magazine as a top floorcloth artist for historic accuracy and museum quality workmanship. Her pieces are displayed in several museums, period homes as well as private collections.  
After 14 years as a full-time floorcloth artist, Neelam found the creative process to be pleasing yet repetitive. However, studying the works of Henri Matisse, Mark Rothko, Frank Stella, Helen Frankenthaler, V. S. Gaitonde, and S. H. Raza revealed her the freedoms of abstraction. 
Neelam’s initial abstract works were geometric paintings, which did not come spontaneously. Starting with pencil sketches, she used her computer skills to create multiple digital representations before painting on canvas. This methodical process came naturally because of her graphic design training, but she continued to perceive a void in her creative mind. However, an unplanned immersion into spirituality released her from the comfort zone and gave her the courage to express feelings freely. The subjects and colors of her landscape paintings are influenced by the pairing of nature’s inspirations reflected on her mood and impulses. Neelam crafts her landscapes with acrylics, oil sticks, graphite and charcoal by using brushes and knives. When creating her fluid artwork, she allows the energy within the colors to follow its own path. By working with these mixed media in a meditative state, she shares her inner spirit with the viewers.
Neelam creates abstract paintings of landscapes, geometrics, and fluids using mixed media. Her works are inspired by earth, water, wind, fire and space as viewed through the prism of her soul.