Roots + Wings Team
We have an amazing group of dedicated teaching artists who make our programs incredibly strong.
You will find them teaching at our Visual Arts Preschool, After-school Community Design Lab programs, Art + Design Semester Programs, Art Workshops, and our Summer Creative Camps and Design Studios. Many of these artists are also available to teach Custom Art Sessions or Art Birthday Celebrations.
If you are interested in being a part of our team as a substitute or to teach a class, please scroll down and connect with us!
Ginger Huebner, Director
Ginger Huebner is the founding director of Roots + Wings School of Art and Design. With a Masters in Teaching Visual Art and a Bachelor of Architecture, Ginger brings a unique perspective to the field of art and design education. She has taught a wide spectrum of ages in a variety of environments. She also has her own studio practice, creating works of art using the mediums of collage, chalk pastel, encaustic and other mixed media. Ginger thrives on doing commissioned work. She has collaborated with individuals, agencies and companies to provide unique pieces of artwork. Ginger’s work can be seen at K2 Home in downtown Asheville, PonShop Studios in Fredricksburg, VA and at her studio by appointment. She lives in Asheville with her husband Scott and two children, Mia and Felix.
Emma graduated from Warren Wilson College with a B.A in Elementary Education. She has gained a variety of teaching experiences in Asheville over the last three years. From her student teaching in a traditional public school to an eclectic bi-lingual Montessori pre-school. She is always searching for new and exciting ways to teach and connect with children. Emma has always had a passion for the arts. While attending Warren Wilson she worked in the art department where she ran the Photography Darkroom and has also experimented with a handful of different mediums. Emma is an advocate for art education. She feels teaching through art gives children a means to express themselves and their intellect in a way that they may otherwise not be able. With the focus of education now being towards standardized testing she believes, more then ever, that a space needs to be provided where children have the option to be creative, imaginative and innovative. Emma is a lead teacher for our Visual Arts Preschool.
Isabel Bowser graduated from Alfred University with a BFA in Visual Art and a minor in Dance. She discovered her love of working with kids as a counselor at Friends Camp, a Quaker summer camp in Maine. She worked there for five consecutive summers with kids ranging in age from seven to seventeen. At Friends Camp she was able to integrate her art and dance education into programming for the campers. The camp’s core values of Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, and Equality stuck with her and continue to inform the way she works with children today. After moving to Asheville in October of 2016, Isabel fell madly in love with the landscape, people, and art of this mountain town. She has continued to make her own art in the form of poetry, song, and dance. She dances as often as she possibly can and studies movement forms such as West African dance, Butoh, Contact Improvisation, Tai Chi, and Modern dance. She strongly believes in a full-body, intuitive creativity and the power of all forms of art to transform and connect us. Isabel is a lead teacher for our After-school Community Design Lab at Vance.
Elise’s grandfather’s photo collection first sparked her interest in photography. His photos not only captured the singular moments but world together her entire family story. She initially started photographing families and children with a 35mm camera and black-and-white film in the mid 90s. She was fortunate enough to be mentored by Richard Stromberg at the Chicago photography center where she learned to process and develop film in the dark room. In 2004 she participated in her first gallery show. Since her transition to digital photography in 2005 her passion is capturing the spirit of children using natural light and the organic backdrops found in nature. She has spent more than two decades photographing many magnificent travels especially in Europe and in recent years she has developed an interest in landscape photography.
At 50 years old she made the bold decision to give up my Midwestern home where she lived outside of Chicago for most of her life. She also decided, after a very long hiatus, to go back to teaching young children. She has a degree in Education from Indiana University and feels especially fortunate to be a teaching artist at Roots and Wings. She has also taught yoga to preschoolers and is blessed to be the mother of two fabulous adult children! Elise is an assistant in our Visual Arts Preschool program.
Laura received her BS in Engineering from Purdue University. She is a scientist and entrepreneur, nature-lover, and loves working with people (big and small). Above all, Laura believes in collaboration, communication, and letting one's spirit run free. Laura extends this philosophy to her time with children. She has developed children's programs to learn about rockets, spent time as a nanny, and been a care-taker for many children in her life. Her hobbies include sculpting, music, dance, and mixed media arts. But, her true passion is spent exploring how to creatively solve world problems. Her recent move to Asheville was inspired by the search for a strong community; and, she is so happy to have found that here. She is a lead teacher for our After-school Community Design Lab at Claxton.
Mary is an artist and educator living in Asheville. She graduated with A BSED in Art Education from Western Carolina University in 2012 and received her MFA in 2015. Though trained in many levels of interdisciplinary and contemporary studio practices, Mary specializes in 2-d processes and curriculum planning. In 2010 she had the opportunity to attend a semester long printmaking intensive at GMIT in Galway, Ireland. She has also taught introductory drawing courses at the undergraduate level, worked as a lead preschool teacher and participated in several community workshops throughout the years in the WNC region.
Mary is truly passionate about children and their development and wholeheartedly believes that the arts and humanities are absolutely crucial and necessary for all people- especially the young mind. Having access to and exploring several different art mediums and techniques helps students with self regulation, healing, and calming the mind and body. She notices that by offering more art opportunities for self expression within the classroom, children become more confident in their day to day learning and acts as a support in mastering other core content in the curriculum.
Mary finds that a dedication to the studio process acts as fuel to enrich and inspire her teaching capabilities. Working mainly in abstraction, she explores themes of beauty, nature, man-made designs and boundaries through expressive mark making and layered imagery. Through her experience and art-making, Mary hopes to create works and projects that teach, speak and connect to our community. Mary is a lead teacher for our After-school Community Design Lab program at Claxton.
Grace Diepenbrock is a graduate of Mars Hill University where she earned a BA in Studio Art and Art History. Grace is passionate about serving her community through the arts, and grew this passion during her time at Mars Hill while volunteering in elementary school classrooms, with the Madison County Arts Council, and other local arts nonprofits. Upon graduating, Grace has worked at museums in Columbia, South Carolina, Atlanta and Dallas, Texas working to create and offer accessible, quality art programs for participants regardless of background, ability, or disability. Grace believes creativity is for everyone, and that the confidence gained from the arts can help everyone flourish.
Grace is a practicing artist and illustrator, working in watercolor, acrylic and mixed media. She is an athlete, avid traveler, outdoor enthusiast and dog lover. She helps out at Roots + Wings with evening and weekend programming.
Before graduating from the University of Northern Colorado with her degree in Visual Arts, Holly de Saillan discovered her affinity for clay in her high school years. Clay and mosaic have been her mode of artistic expression for thirty years. Her inspirations come from nature, contemporary folk art and (currently) artists Niki de St. Phalle, Antoni Gaudi, Raymonde Isadore, Joan Miro and Marc Chagall among many others. She has travelled and studied in Italy, Spain and France. She teaches ceramics and mosaic in varying capacities around Western North Carolina and also has earned a Master’s degree in Art & Design with Education. She resides in Asheville with a cantankerous little dog named Chagall. Holly works teaches private custom lessons and creates programming for our teen mentorships.
Our world lost Grace Eaton on July 5, 2016 following a brief but brave struggle with cancer. As a member of the Roots + Wings extended family, Grace will remain in our hearts and by our sides as her passion and love always made our little corner of the world more beautiful.
Grace Eaton lived in Asheville since 2002, when she moved here to attend UNCA. She has a BA in Studio Art with a concentration in figure drawing, as well as her elementary teaching license. Grace always considered herself a lifelong student of the visual arts as well as various styles of dance. She also had a love for art history and the inspiration that can be gained from current and historical figures and their works. She volunteered and taught in area schools with preschool to high school aged students. She dabbled in everything from glass blowing to letterpress printing to classical portraiture. However, over her last few years she had narrowed her focus to primarily creating block prints, paper cuts and works of narrative illustration. Her pieces were often inspired by her fascination with classic folktales. Grace always enjoyed experimenting with new mediums and ideas, and particularly loved sharing this process with young people. She was often found at home making messy art with her son Atticus. She was one of our lead teachers for our After-school Community Design Lab at Claxton Elementary School.
Emily has her Master’s degree in Teaching Early Childhood Education, along with an endorsement in teaching children with special needs. She has been the lead teacher at various schools in North Carolina and Colorado and has experience teaching all ages from preschool to high school. Her passions include creating nature and art-based curriculum with an emphasis on movement and imagination.
She lives in West Asheville with her partner, Jenn, and her pet praying mantis, Winston. Asheville has been her community for about 12 years now. When she is not teaching, she can be found hiking, camping, biking, SUP boarding, or bird watching.
Emily is a lead teacher for our After-school Community Design Program at Vance Elementary.
Sarah is a poet, author, dancer, and life coach. She got her B.A. in psychology from SUNY New Paltz and holds certificates in homeopathic medicine and life coaching. She is passionate about self-expression, and how just by the process of making art, we transform. Sarah has worked with kids for the last ten years, and is constantly amazed by them, and how much they teach her. She aims to fuse kindness with creativity, and hold a safe space where others feel free to be themselves and access their creative, sparkling spirits. In this way, she believes much healing, empowerment and joy can happen and naturally infuse our lives. She is currently working on a book, coaches clients, writes for elephant journal, and is most inspired by the ways that nature speaks to us, and the way that our own bodies speak to us. She believes that through creativity, through dance, through telling our stories, through the beautiful risk of making art of any kind, we find our way back to our hearts. And you can find her dancing and writing and painting herself back to her heart every day. It is her deepest joy to share this with others. Sarah is a teacher for our After-school Community Design Lab program at Vance.
Tonya’s has years of experience teaching art, from preschool to middle school aged students. Her experiences have been in public and private schools, as well as homeschooling her own three children. She loves helping a child see and discover something new and amazing. She believes young children learn so much from play and from getting the encouragement to try, and is excited to be a part of our Visual Arts Preschool which fosters and supports that kind of learning. Tonya loves to paint and cook, and get in some trail running on the weekends. She and her husband have three kids and a dog and have lived in the Asheville area for 13 years. They love this city, especially the art and music…and the mountains too. Tonya is a lead teacher for our Visual Arts Preschool, and also teaches Art + Design Classes and Custom lessons and workshops.
Caitlin Hettich grew up in Miami, where she attended Design and Architecture Senior High School. After graduation she attended the Rhode Island School of Design, where she obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture. Caitlin then went on to work for several nonprofit organizations around the country, including Appel Farm Art and Music Center, Hard Hatted Women, and Arts For Learning. In 2015 she completed a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture from the University of Memphis. Caitlin lives in Asheville with her husband, Casey, and their dog, Maize. Caitlin is a lead teacher for our After-school Community Design Lab program at Vance.
Joy Hof is a local artist and art teacher. She was born and raised in a small town in Ga but moved to Asheville in 2011 where she studied and graduated from UNCA with a BA in painting. After graduating she has taught in a Montessori School where she started an art program for pre-k-k students. She also has her own art teaching business where she teaches group lessons at a local Barn and farm property out in Fletcher. She has taught at an afterschool art program as well. She also was the mural artist for 2 years and completed the work on the hallway walls and treatment room at the Mission Children's Hospital. She is passionate about renewing the human spirit by using creativity and teaching others to explore the creativity that they have within them. She loves to paint in her basement studio and to be creative in other ways including playing her guitar, arts and crafts, card making, decorating, and cooking. She also loves exploring the great outdoors , paddle boarding and would consider herself an avid hiker. She also values and loves her friends, family, chickens, little cottage in the country, and her fluffy kitty. She is currently working on a series of aerial view landscapes that she will have in a gallery in town. She is a lead teacher for our After-school Community Design Lab program at Asheville Primary.
Originally from Southern California, Rebekah has only recently moved to Asheville from Chicago where she received a BA in Community Art from Wheaton College and worked in art education, childcare, and graphic design. Throughout her experiences working with children she has been amazed at their capacity for learning, problem-solving, and innovating. Her mission is to help children exceed societal expectations and excel in all areas by developing internal resources such as confidence, hope and creativity through strategic and collaborative art projects. Her art education heroes are Sister Corita Kent and Tim Rollins. She is thrilled to be living in mountains again and is most encouraged and inspired by plants, animals and wild landscapes. Rebekah is a lead teacher for our Visual Arts Preschool.
Lilly attended Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY, where she studied music, art history, fine arts, education and creative writing. Born and raised in Sag Harbor, NY, she moved to Asheville in 2013 to pursue a career as a musician and educator. Lilly believes that music and arts education are essential to child development. When given the freedom to express and create, children gain the courage to explore and discover. The skills that children acquire when given this creative platform are invaluable. In addition to music, art and education, Lilly is also passionate about food, wellness and travel. She has traveled her whole life and is fascinated with the fact that music, art and food can defy language barriers and bridge all types of different cultures. She believes that learning through cultural immersion is one of the most successful teaching tools and continues to self-educate in this manner whenever possible. Lilly also loves to be in nature, whether it be hiking through the mountains or swimming in the ocean. Lilly is a lead teacher for our After-school Community Design Lab program at our Creative Campus.
Jeannie graduated from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Fine Art (Sculpture), and an Advanced Diploma in Business Management from William Angliss, in Melbourne Australia. Originally from Hong Kong, her travels have inspired a life long interest in culture and identity, and how art shapes and records the human experience.
A stint in women's roller derby as a skater and league administrator allowed her to travel around Australia and the United States, eventually leading her to settle in Los Angeles. She drew on the skills she learned both on and off the track to work as a marketing operative and event coordinator, with a focus on conventions and broadcast events.
As part of her evolving art practice Jeannie teaches weaving and fiber art and she especially appreciates the reciprocal learning relationship that grows from exploring new approaches to fiber art with established fiber craft practitioners. Jeannie is our PR Coordinator and Adult Course Coordinator.
Brannan has always known the joy and love that working with young children can bring, and has chosen to share her days working with them for many years now. She graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelors in Family & Child Sciences before moving to New York to get a Masters degree in Early Childhood: General & Special Education. Brannan has taught from infants through second grade, in public and private schools. She enjoys empowering children to use their bodies, hearts and minds to bring about love, hope, peace and understanding to the world around them. When she is not spending time with children, she enjoys teaches yoga, hiking, creating, writing and spending time with loved ones. Brannan is an assistant for our Visual Arts Preschool.
Eliana is a recent graduate of Appalachian State University where she received her BFA in Studio Art with a concentration in Printmaking and a minor in Dance Studies. Eliana is an artist who works primarily in Printmaking and Ceramics where she explores themes of heritage and identity. She had been creating art for as long as she could remember but Eliana began working with children in high school. She worked at the Sawtooth School for the Visual Arts as an assistant in the Printmaking courses for teen camps and most recently has finished up her Summer Residency at Odyssey ClayWorks which involved assisting kids camps. Eliana has discovered the love and joy that creating art can bring and she wishes to share that with others. She enjoys working with children because of their honest and open views of the world. Eliana still continues her two passions of creating art and teaching. She works with our Roots + Wings After-School Community Design Lab program at Asheville Primary School.
Abby has a B.A in International Studies from the College of Charleston, with experience and expertise in youth development in more than one country. Her interest in art education began while studying in India, where she realized the universality and power of the relationship between young children and art, no matter what language they spoke. She moved to Asheville from Charleston, SC at the end of 2014 and has since joined the local crusade for arts education. When introduced to a young child, making unique works of art can bring about new levels of individuality, courage, creativity, and self-awareness that are difficult to attain by such a young age. Abby is excited to be bringing these opportunities to the students of Roots + Wings and watching them grow at individuals, as well as helping to nourish the presence and influence of community arts in the greater Asheville area through community partnerships and events. Abby is our Outreach Coordinator, an assistant for our Visual Arts Preschool as well as a lead teacher for our After-school Community Design Lab at our Roots+Wings Creative Campus.
Jess is a librarian, artist and Relaxing Lady. Her work, including field recordings, puppet shows, collections of items, zines, and the occasional knitted object, touches on questions of ecology, community, history, mortality and archival practices. Inspired by library projects like the Reanimation Library (Brooklyn) and the Prelinger Library (San Francisco) as well as her experience as Programming Coordinator for the Read/Write Library (Chicago), she began collection development for the Relaxing Lady’s Library after moving to Chicago in 2010. Jess performs with her husband Peter under the name The Speers, primarily creating live improvisations with their collections of LPs and modular synthesizers to find the hypnotic patterns hidden in ordinary sounds. After heading up the children’s department of a public library where she was occasionally able to do art with kids, Jess is a lead teacher for our After-school Community Design Lab at the Roots + Wings Creative Campus.
Tricia is a native of Weaverville, North Carolina. She continues to make her home here with her daughter. She received her Bachelors of Science Degree in Accounting from Meredith College. She has practiced in both public and private accounting but finds she enjoys the private industry better. With 20 years of experience, she is excited to be a part of our team here at Roots + Wings and share her number crunching talents.
Community Teaching Artists
When Lisa Jones moved to the Asheville area in 2004, she fell in love with the mountains and the rich artist community. She grew up in Minnesota and received a BA from St. Olaf College in Studio Art and English. After teaching with AmeriCorps in the Pacific Northwest, she moved to Thailand as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Her job was to teach English and she found the best way to do that was through the universal language of art. She moved to Italy to study printmaking as a post-bac student, and then continued graduate study of printmaking at Penland as a Winter Resident, and as an intern at Pace Prints in NYC. She completed her MFA at Western Carolina University. She has taught art at the Asheville Art Museum, WCU and Warren Wilson College. She currently enjoys observing and nurturing the artistic journey of her two small children and is thrilled to share her love of printmaking with Roots + Wings.
In 2012 Kelley came to the Asheville Area to take part in a three month, all woman's natural building apprenticeship. Since the apprenticeship, her passion is to educate about working with natural materials to make works of art and design the community can enjoy. She believes we have an abundance of materials and resources around us to live a culturally enriched life.
Currently she enjoys working with schools, learning centers, and community groups to educate and practice Natural Building, Eco-art, Natural Paint and more. She admits that she doesn't take part in this work alone. She says the best part of working with natural materials is the community atmosphere that is created while building.
Lisa Zahiya travels nationally and internationally as an award-winning performer and in-demand dance instructor, workshop and event facilitator, and speaker.
Lisa is based in Asheville, NC where she is the founder & owner of Studio Zahiya, four time winner of "Best Place to Take a Dance Class" in Asheville, NC.
As a movement instructor, she travels, teaching workshops, performing and developing curriculum. She has taught and performed in New York, NY, Las Vegas, NV, Austin, TX, Baltimore, MD, Washington, DC, Montreal, Southern France and more. She also specializes in women's empowerment workshops and as a team building facilitator. She is the winner of the 2008 Bellydancer of the Universe. At home, she has taught at the University of North Carolina, Asheville, Warren Wilson College and Western Carolina University. She serves as an Ambassador for Lululemon Athletica, Asheville.
Lisa is also known for her work with children and women, using dance as a impetus for change. Lisa serves the senior Teaching Artist with the Lake Eden Arts Festival and is also a Guest Dance Instructor with the Buncombe County School System. She travels nationally teaching in school systems and for children's organizations. Lisa has completed training in Developmental Assets and 21st Century Skills.
Interested in being a part of our team?
We are ALWAYS looking for talented folks to be on our program substitute list, and sometimes have openings for teachers in our programs. Please fill out the form below and let us know what you are interested in and we will be in touch!