Adult Instructors


Andrew Wells


Originally from Wisconsin, Joanne Lang moved to North Carolina to attend Duke University and has lived in Greenville for over 20 Years. She studied and worked in the sciences and medicine until becoming a stay-at-home mom and started taking art classes in the community. She has always had a love of arts and crafts and in the course of time, it developed into a passion. For seven years, she shared that passion of art with elementary students. She experimented in ceramics, weaving, stained glass and mixed media but what really kindled her creative fire has been metalsmithing. For the last four years, she has attended numerous workshops in the USA and Italy.


LIz Steiner

Liz Steiner holds a BFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from Kent State University with a minor in Geology and an MFA in Metal Design from East Carolina University. In 2012, she curated the international, juried exhibition "Hot Under the Collar" and was the Artist Fellow in Fine Metals at Peters Valley Craft Center. In addition to teaching at Emerge, she currently teaches adjunct at Craven Community College in New Bern, NC and Pitt Community College in Greenville, NC.



Andrew Wells


Julie Rogers: Originally from Chicago, Julie lived in Clearwater Beach, FL and Nashville, TN, before settling in eastern North Carolina in 1988. Although she always enjoyed dabbling in different crafts, the opportunity to explore any in depth didn’t present itself until her children left home. After taking one pottery class at a local arts center in 2004, she was hooked. Within a few years, a hobby became a passion.

Julie has continued to learn and perfect the art of making pottery on the wheel through attending numerous workshops and by spending countless hours in the studio refining her technique.  She also enjoys sharing her insights and techniques with others interested in learning the skill of wheel throwing. Julie strives to make pieces that are elegant and feminine, yet balanced and functional. Together with friend and potter Rae Brown, they started a small business — A Bit Off Center — selling their wares at Arts & Craft festivals and at several NC stores.

Andrew Wells


Rae Troiano Brown attended ECU where she received her M.S. in Geology and took her first class in clay. She continued to pursue pottery by taking local classes and attending workshops. Her pottery is grounded in function and embellished with texture and color. Her desire is to create utilitarian pots that elevate daily activities to moments of celebration. In 2008, she worked as studio assistant and began teaching classes at Emerge. She collaborates with Julie Rogers to create handmade, functional pottery in a joint endeavor they call ‘A Bit Off Center’. Her home studio is in Winterville where she lives with her husband and two dogs.


Emily Smith

Emily J. Smith is a sculptural artist based in North Carolina. Smith
was born and raised in Greensboro, North Carolina. As a child, she
spent time hunting with her father and enjoying domestic chores with
her grandmother. These past moments have driven Smith to further
explore the South’s influence on her own identity and upbringing.

In 2013, Emily J. Smith received her Bachelor of the Fine Arts degree
from Appalachian State University with a concentration in ceramics.
In 2017, she received her Master of Fine Arts degree from UNC-Chapel
Hill. Emily J. Smith has exhibited at the Turchin Center for the
Visual Arts, Catherine J. Smith Gallery, and Looking Glass Gallery in
Boone, North Carolina, as well as at the North Carolina Museum of Art
in Raleigh, North Carolina. Emily J. Smith is a co-founder and
current member of Subverbal Collective, based in Chapel Hill, North


Andrew Wells


Gail Ritzer received her B.S. in Art Education from the University of Missouri-Columbia and an M.F.A in Ceramics and Painting from East Carolina University.  She has been exhibiting her work nationally since 1980 at such locales in New York, The University of Missouri-St. Louis, Eastern Kentucky University and the University of Nebraska.  Her work has appeared in several publications including: FiberArts Design Book, Art/Quilt Magazine,exhibition catalogs.

Gail has been fortunate to receive a number of grants from the North Carolina Arts Council to pursue a variety of personal and community arts projects.  She has been teaching surface design techniques, mixed media methods, painting, and ceramics to students of all ages for many years at workshops, as Outreach Coordinator for the Greenville Museum of Art and as an instructor at the Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge.


Sabrina Quirk

Hello! My name is Sabrina and I received my BFA in Painting and Drawing and my BA in Art Histories from East Carolina University in 2017. I am originally from Rhode Island, but have been living in North Carolina since 2009. I believe that art is an important cultural practice that creates or perpetuates certain values, habits, and beliefs. My work primarily utilizes oil paint and collaging techniques, although I am also comfortable working with a broad range of materials such as: acrylic paint, watercolor, pen and ink, charcoal, and pastels. I enjoy learning and trying new techniques that will help better communicate my ideas. Conceptually I work with ideas of nature and women and how those ideologies intersect. I’m continuing to do research in the area of ecofeminism and make art based on those findings.

Andrew Wells


Cathy has lived in eastern North Carolina her entire life. She received her BFA in Painting and Drawing from East Carolina University in 2010. She works full time here at Emerge as the Programs & Finance Director, part-time for the Greenville Times, freelance balloon artist, and  instructor for private lessons and PCAC at Emerge’s Outreach Program, the Youth Public Arts Project.  Proficient in oil, acrylic, and watercolor, she specializes in mixed media and painting portraits.



Andrew Wells


Megan is a graduate of East Carolina University with a BFA in Textiles.  She currently lives in Greenville, North Carolina. She teaches art classes for adults and children at the Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge, facilitates grant funded art programs at Vidant Medical Center, and is the Operations and Programs Director at the Greenville Museum of Art. Megan is most inspired by nature and color. She hopes to continue growing as an artist while connecting with the local art community.