Children's Instructors



Sophia will be a sophomore in college this fall, studying art for narrative illustration and entertainment design at Virginia Commonwealth University. She was born and raised in Greenville and enjoyed summer camp at Emerge when she was a tween. This summer she is excited to be working as the Summer Camp Counselor managing camp and working with children. She enjoys still life and figure drawing as well as ceramics and fiber arts.



Hello! My name is Jacqueline Hobbs. I was born and raised right here in Greenville, North Carolina, and I am graduate from East Carolina University where I received my BFA in Art Education. I began taking art classes at a very young age and have never stopped. While I have dabbled in several different art forms and medias over the years I find the most joy in ceramics. I've been hand building for about twelve years now and have been on the wheel for about nine. While I love anything I can get messy with, nothing has captured my heart like ceramics has and honestly I'm not sure anything will!



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.



Gabriella is a Sophomore at East Carolina University earning her Bachelor's of Fine in Art Education and Bachelors in Arts in Psychology. She has experience in many different mediums of art but primarily works with painting and photography. She enjoys being able to share her love of art with students and help them grow as artists, creative thinkers, and help them find their own unique voice. After completing her degree, she hopes to go on to get her Masters in Art Therapy to use art to create a positive change in others.

Holton Stokes


Holton Stokes was born and raised in Greenville, NC and earned both her BS degree in University Studies (Art and Merchandising) and her Masters degree (Elementary Education) from East Carolina University. Holton has experience in a variety of mediums but works primarily in painting, drawing, and digital illustration. Holton has had a passion for the arts since childhood and is excited to help foster that passion for others."



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.

Eliza Henry


Eliza Henry is a senior at ECU working on her Bachelor's Degree in Animation. She also loves to experiment with many other mediums such as painting, textiles, and photography. She enjoys making art that tells a story but also makes the audience explore and ask questions.

Rachel Gormley


Rachel is an illustrative artist currently stationed out of Greenville NC. She graduated from East Carolina University with a BFA and a concentration in Illustration. The focus of her work lies in the storytelling aspect of art. Working with a mix of media she creates imaginative narratives with distinct bright color palettes and strong emphasis on the human figure. Rachel has an ecliptic mix of influences including comics, classical religious art, historical illustration, and her family.

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.

Britney Spangler


Britney Byrd is currently a senior at East Carolina University pursuing her BFA in Art Education. She is new to North Carolina after her husband was stationed in the near by area. She also has lived in Utah as well as Kentucky for years. Britney is a lover of all forms of art and especially excels in painting, drawing, mixed media, etc. She has a strong passion for teaching and making sure all students are intrigued in what they are learning and of course leave class with a smile on their face!

Kayleigh Redmond


After she received her Associate’s Degree in Arts from Vance Granville Community College, Kayleigh moved to Greenville, NC to pursue her BFA in Art Education at East Carolina University. She hopes to graduate next Spring, and start teaching at a public school in Fall of 2024. Artistically, Kayleigh has explored many mediums. She enjoys printmaking, drawing, and painting, but she has a particular interest in collage art. Kayleigh seeks ways to combine different media and materials, for the sake of making an interesting art piece. In her free time, she enjoys reading, poetry, and going to new places.

Jacque Schacht


Jacque Schacht graduated from the University of Nebraska Lincoln with a BS in Elementary Education. She is a proud member of the Ponca tribe of Nebraska. Much of her art is done through the lens of her tribal heritage. She enjoys many different mediums including watercolor, ledger art, beadwork, ceramics, and cooking. She is kept very busy with her three children who are 11, 8, and 5 but always makes time for art in some form. She is looking forward to sharing and creating art with your children during the summer camps.

Kelly Rye


Kelly is a dynamic art instructor who loves to express herself visually and artistically in all forms and mediums. Her main passion is holding a paintbrush and letting her heart sing on the canvas, usually creating with acrylic, oil, watercolor, or even the enchanting medium of gouache. With a passion for all things art; Kelly’s expertise extends to a wide range of mediums, including: charcoal, pastel, textile, 2D, 3D, resin, pottery, and even candle-making! She also uses her creativity in graphic design, web design, and videography utilizing Adobe Creative Suite.

Kelly prides herself on being a supportive team member and looking for ways to grow within the community. Her goal is to create a safe and fun learning environment for all involved. While also bringing awareness to the joy of creating art, that she has experienced throughout the creative journey she calls life. 

Sam Goodman


Sam is a graduate of Wake Forest University with a BA in Psychology and Studio Art. During her time at Wake Forest, she completed her concentration in Drawing with a focus on drawing from life. She has experience working in multiple different mediums, including oil painting, digital design, and photography. While in undergrad, she worked for the past two years teaching art lessons at the Brenner Children's Hospital through an organization called Arts for Life. As well as teaching art in an afterschool program for grades K–2. She enjoys integrating art history into her lesson plans and her own work. She will be attending UNC Chapel Hill in the fall for her MS in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling. As a former student at Emerge, Sam is excited to return and teach future generations of artists.

Sonya Coulson Rook

Coulson Rook

Sonya received a BFA in Metal Design from East Carolina University and has obtained additional technical training in stone setting and hand engraving at New Approach School for Jewelers in Franklin, TN and the GRS Training
Center in Emporia, KS. In 2008 she established her own line of jewelry while living in Raleigh, NC which she currently wholesales and retails through various online and in person outlets. Her work can be found in stores and galleries around the country and has been featured in several publications as well as exhibitions at CAM Art Gallery in Raleigh, the Pratt Institute in New York, and the Baltimore Jewelry Center. She has taught metals classes at Sertoma Arts Center and the NC State Crafts Center, and has been teaching adult and youth classes at Emerge Gallery since relocating back to Pitt County in 2023.

Lupita Nava


My name is Lupita Nava and I am currently in my 8th year as the art teacher at Bethel School. Art has always been my passion and I love being able to share my knowledge and give them the art experience every kid deserves!