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.

Andrew Wells


Lisette has been designing and making jewelry for over 10 years.  Growing up as the daughter of an Army officer provided Lisette the opportunity to travel the world, from Japan to El Salvador to Uruguay to Panama.  This immersion in a diversity of cultures gave Lisette an invaluable appreciation for a variety of art forms.

Lisette finds inspiration from the local people and wildlife in the places where she’s lived.  Lisette received her Liberal arts degree in Anthropology from the University of Florida in 2001 and her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Jewelry and metals from East Carolina University.

Upon graduating from East Carolina University, Lisette began her business 2012 at Art Avenue studios.  Lisette’s design and aesthetic presentation skills have evolved into what is now her signature skill of using the ancient art of wax casting to create pieces of Eilisain Jewelry jewelry immortalizing the beauty and strength of animals such as the owl, crow, deer, badger and bear.  She continues to develop this ancient method and to work in new mediums.

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.

Liz Merritt


Liz Merritt was born in Southern Appalachia where she was heavily influenced by the prevalent arts-and-crafts culture that surrounded her childhood. She comes from a family of artists whose work spans numerous mediums, including painting, jewelry, and sculpture. Early on, she set her sights on a career in medicine, but decided to follow her passion to create, and her interest in visual art led her to the medium of ceramics. Her heavy appreciation for the colors and shapes of the natural world, and the inspiration taken from reknowned potters such as George Ohr and Jennifer Lee has culminated in her current style of pottery. Liz takes great joy in the process of creating the work, from turning the wet clay to the finished product, but ultimately she states that her art is “Meant to be used, cherished, chipped, and worn. To be a part of early mornings, family dinners, and childhood memories. My art belongs on a table, not in a china cabinet.”


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.

Andrew Wells


Hi. I’m Andrew Wells. I’m from Sanford, NC and I am currently studying for my Master’s Degree in Painting at ECU. I would say that I’ve been an artist since I was about 6 years old – once I discovered other kids would buy my cartoons of their favorite South Park characters. Since then, I have been doing bigger things – I know, how could it be more glamorous than selling drawings to elementary school kids for lunch money – such as, constantly showing work in gallery exhibitions around NC, SC, and internationally in Sharjah and Dubai

In my spare time, I am a freelance cartoonist – doing caricatures at festivals, parties, etc. At the University, my work primarily deals with drawing, painting, and video films; but I am comfortable with most all mediums: ink, pen, oils, watercolor, acrylic, and most others. Regardless of what your passion is for art, what types of art you’re interested in creating, and what art you enjoying looking at, I am confident that we can work together to help us both improve as artists.

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.