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Image by Ashley West Edwards

Meet the Board

Deborah Newman, Director Marketing & Technology

Deborah has been involved with artists, events, food and technology for the last 35 years. Deborah worked in the restaurant industry in the DC metropolian area for 25 years, working and managing various eateries. During this time Deborah earned her BA from George Mason University with a concentration in Indigenous Arts & Culture. Eventually she married and cofounded a computer repair & web design company with her husband in Maine. In 2012 Deborah relocated with her daughter back to Virginia after the death of her husband and started her company Petite Taway Inc.

Deborah specializes in working with nonprofits, small businesses and artists across the world creating successful, effective websites. Deborah has a passion for networking and bringing people together and founded 3 Networking Groups:  Northern Neck Networking, Networking with Tisha and Deb and OC Business Networking

Deborah loves working with various nonprofits that frequently use art as therapy and as a source of raising funds through fundraising events. 

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Ronda Rotz, Director Merchandising & Creative Arts

Ronda Rotz is a multimedia artist whose passion for creativity ignited at a young age when she hijacked one of her mother's paint-by-number kits. That spontaneous act sparked a lifelong love of art that has fueled her explorations across diverse mediums including acrylics, watercolors, cold wax and oil, collage, sewing, fiber arts, and professional floral design.

 

"I believe art is a lifelong, evolving journey with creativity for us all," Rotz says. "We just need to recognize that art is around us every day, even in the simplest of things, and become comfortable with our individual path on that journey." As part of J-art, Ronda is excited to be involved in others' art journeys.

Rotz's artwork is defined by an experimental, cross-disciplinary approach. She incorporates hand-painted papers into layered, textured collages that merge painting and assemblage techniques.

Her abstract compositions are inspired by the colors, textures, and organic shapes found in the natural world. Ronda strives to capture moments of beauty that reveal themselves in everything from rusted metal to fractured patterns in tree bark.

 

In addition to decades of developing her own multimedia artworks, Rotz has shared her talents as an art instructor with adults and children. She brings to the J-art board extensive experience in arts advocacy, and creative entrepreneurship. As VP of Merchandising and Creative Arts, Ronda will apply her unique multidisciplinary perspective and passion for promoting artists and the arts.

 

Rotz's artwork has been featured in solo and group exhibitions across the region. She is a Resident Artist at The Art Center of Montross, a member of the Colonial Beach Artists Guild and Northern Neck Networking. Ronda is thrilled to join the J-art board and give back to the community that has nurtured her creative spirit from that first paint-by-number.

Paula Thornburg Tutor

Paula Thornburg Tutor

Manager, Dreamer's Market

I'm a Virginia native with a diverse background in education, business management, and the arts. My journey has taken me from Chesapeake to Halifax, Williamsburg, and finally to the picturesque Northern Neck.

With over 15 years of experience teaching preschool and 20 years directing various children's programs at church, I've honed my skills in education and organization. I've also managed pool stores and construction businesses for 15 years, developing strong administrative and leadership abilities.

 

My true passion lies in the arts. I find immense fulfillment in teaching others the joy of creation, organizing events for artists and crafters to showcase their talents, and encouraging self-expression through various art forms. Whether through my classes, events, or personal artwork, I strive to bring a touch of creativity and joy to others' lives.

Outside of my professional pursuits, I'm a devoted wife of 34 years, mother to five children, and grandmother to six (soon to be seven). I enjoy historical fiction, music, coffee, and above all, spending quality time with my family.

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