Adult Instructors



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.



Lisette Fee has been creating and designing jewelry for over 15 years. Lisette began her apprenticeship at a silver smithing repair shop then moved on to acquiring her metalsmithing degree from East Carolina University. Lisette has assisted a course at Penland School of Craft and has taught entry level jewelry and metalsmithing at Emerge Gallery.



Gail Ritzer received her BS in Art Education from the University of Missouri-Columbia and an MFA 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, and 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 Emerge Gallery & Art Center.



Charlotte Fitz is a ceramic artist whose work consists of functional and sculptural handmade artworks that are inspired by stories, myths, dreams, and symbols drawn from her ancestral home of eastern Kentucky. Charlotte is a graduate of Guilford College, where she studied English and creative writing. She continued her studies at the School of Art and Design at East Carolina University and received a degree in ceramic design as well as a Master of Arts in Teaching. She is the curator of the Janice Hardison Gallery at Joyner Library, East Carolina University, where she researches, designs, and implements a variety of art and history exhibitions.



Heather Suter is a graduate of East Carolina University with a BFA in Studio Arts with a concentration in Ceramics. She was born in Michigan and moved to Apex, NC in 2001 where she began to pursue her love for both visual and theater arts. Moving to Greenville for college in 2007, she explored her loved for jewelry design, interior design, and pottery. Heather is currently our Education Coordinator and loves being involved with our youth classes and public events. As an artist her inspiration comes from colors, repetitive imagery, and organic patterns found in nature. The objective of her artwork is to simultaneously create decorative and utilitarian ceramics.



Haley McElroy graduated from Appalachian State University with a BFA in Art Education and a BA in Art Education. Since Graduating she has taught elementary art for 5 1/2 years. She has lived in Greenville, NC, for the last two years and excited to be teaching summer art camps for my second year. In her own studio, she enjoy constructing figural wall pieces and surface decorating simple functional forms. In her free time she enjoys spending time with my partner, AJ, curling up on the couch with their cat, Little Man, and getting lost in a new show.

Erika Gibson


Erika Gibson is a largely self-taught, versatile and eclectic designer. She built her first simple websites by age ten, and had a multi-page site under her belt by the end of middle school. Erika's first experience with entrepreneurship was a screen-printed t-shirt business she started her senior year of high school. Her interest in ceramics dates from summer camp experiences in her single-digit years, and she rediscovered the medium as an adult. She then went on to study Fine Art at East Carolina School of Art & Design, and Business Administration, Marketing at Western Governors University.
Erika’s primary aim is to empower and encourage others to create. There are prevalent misconceptions, like that an artist must have a degree and be able to draw a straight line without a ruler. The professed perfection of others can be intimidating; but the process of creation can be approachable, accessible and centered on the sheer joy of making something unique and authentic.

Karen Warren


Karen Warren has been creating art since childhood. She studied art at Michigan State University and Central Washington State University. She enjoys working with various mediums including, oil paint, acrylics, watercolor, metals, and mixed media. A big part of her creative process is experimentation. She is drawn to new materials, combining them in different methods. She discovered gel plate painting and printing a few years ago and has developed many ways to create beautiful art for both beginners and those who are experienced.

Kimberly Cusack


Born in Stuttgart, Germany, Kimberly Cusack has lived in New Bern, NC for sixteen years. She is a junior at ECU's School of Art and Design and is pursuing her BFA in painting and drawing. Along with an Entrepreneurship certificate and a minor in public and regional planning, she is working to become involved in community arts management once she graduates. After interning at Caven Arts her senior year of high school, she became inspired by how public art can help heal communities, raise awareness for important issues, and bring color to public spaces. Her body of work encompasses paintings and found object sculptures that use distorted abstract forms combined with realism to dissect peoples true intention.

Kia Glosson

Kia Glosson

Kia earned her BFA in Art Education with a concentration in ceramics many years ago, in 1989.

Since then, she has taught art for people of all ages, 3 years old-adult, in the public schools, arts councils, and in private lessons. Though she loves all media, her favorite remains clay. Over the years, she has changed from a product oriented perspective (learned in her undergrad program) to a more process oriented one that focuses attention on enjoying the creative process, rather than the final product. In the past five years her focus has changed to include wellness and resiliency skills. As a Resiliency Educator, recent MSW graduate, and LCSWA, she is excited about weaving together mindfulness and pottery in Intro to Throwing classes at Emerge.

Noelle Gunn

Gunn, Noelle

Noelle Gunn is a North Carolina based artist who paints and draws, as well as creates sculptural worlds out of fibers, handmade paper, and local materials found, collected, and handstitched together through mixed media, layered assemblage approaches. She earned her MFA in Painting and Drawing at East Carolina University in 2021. After the completion of her training in traditional drawing, painting, and printmaking at The College of William and Mary in 2003, she earned a Masters in Teaching from Christopher Newport University in 2005 and taught high school art on both coasts for nine years. Since 2018, Noelle has been awarded three scholarships to attend workshops at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts; the Hannah Graduate Award and The Claire Armstrong Scholarship in 2020, the 2020 Purchase Award by the Friends of the Joyner Library for the East Carolina University Joyner Library Permanent Collection; and was one of three selected winners for the 2020 North Carolina Museum of Art Park Pictures Exhibition in Raleigh. 

Gabrielle Freeman


Gabrielle Brant Freeman's award winning and Pushcart nominated poetry has been published in many journals, including Barrelhouse, The Emerson Review, EMRYS, The Rumpus, Scoundrel Time, Shenandoah, storySouth, Waxwing, and Whale Road Review. Press 53 published her first book of poetry, When She Was Bad. She was twice awarded a regional artist grant through the North Carolina Arts Council. Freeman earned her MFA through Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. She teaches at East Carolina University, and she lives with her family in Eastern North Carolina.

stacey swinson


Stacey Swinson received her degree in education from the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse and moved to NC where she met her husband. Stacey has always enjoyed making things and was a jeweler before falling in love with pottery. She started taking pottery classes at the University of Florida before moving to Greenville in 2015, where she continued to take classes at Emerge. Stacey and her husband have three children that keep her extremely busy so her home studio has made a huge difference in her development as a potter and has allowed her to create her pottery business Ground Up Pottery. You can find her most nights, after the kids are in bed, working in her studio with her resident studio bunnies and usually a dog or three to keep her company. Most of Stacey’s work is functional dinnerware but occasionally she will be inspired to hand build or do some alternative firings such as raku. Stacey is the founder and president of the Tar River Potters Guild and looks forward to growing the pottery community even more through teaching at Emerge.

Charleigh Baldwin


Charleigh Baldwin (she/they) is an art education student at ECU. Charleigh has a contagious passion for arts in all forms, but specifically studies textiles, metal working, and book arts. She has experience instructing all age groups and is accustomed to working with diverse and inclusive settings. She is knowledgeable about different processes and techniques in fiber arts as well as critical analysis and development of personal voice and narrative in art. It is her dream to share her passion and empower as many people as possible to express themselves creatively and reach their own artistic potential.