Doug Zaruba, owner of Vortex in downtown Frederick, fell in love with the arts during his college years in Buffalo.
While pursuing a major in Physics, Zaruba attended a wide variety of art classes. His interest in painting and jewelry allowed him to participate in many craft shows around the country, winning him an honorable mention for a piece of jewelry in the NY International Jewelry Competition. After completing an apprenticeship with a jeweler for 5 years he became a Master Goldsmith. Doug opened his first store, Zaruba & Zaruba in 1989. He was looking to settle in a rural environment and chose Frederick for its close proximity to two metropolitan cities. Doug worked with his son until 2005 when he sold him the business and moved to Panama for 5 years. There he enjoyed doing sculpture work. He returned to Frederick in 2010, took over the jewelry store and renamed it Vortex.
“Working at the bench” is the most inspiring aspect of Doug’s business. He enjoys the challenge of creating a handmade piece of art that will last a lifetime. Doug believes that the art scene in Frederick is growing. He and the other gallery owners in downtown Frederick are working together to start their own gallery walk, which is set to start in January 2015.
His dream is to one day create sculptures for public outdoor settings.