Artists Reconnecting and Collaborating in COVID
by Valerie Tan.
When Christine Wittmann, a lifelong WNY native, approached me
about collaborating with her in her jewelry business, it was a
Christine and I have been friends since middle-school, and
now almost 40 years later (did I just reveal our age?), we have found
a way to combine our lifelong artistic paths.
About 10 years ago, Christine was searching for a better work/life
balance than she could get with her industrial sales and marketing
She wanted to spend more time with her family, and decided that
the solution was to change her path by starting a company where she
could focus on her passion for producing and teaching others about
The COVID crisis has had a big impact on all small businesses, and
Christine’s was no exception. All of the shops that carried her line
either closed or had severe restrictions on business, and she could
not longer hold jewelry-making classes in her studio at the Niagara
Arts and Cultural Center. Christine found herself wondering how to
move forward, and it was then that she reached out to me about
combining my artwork into a series of new jewelry pieces. From my
point of view, it has been a gift to connect with a childhood friend
in this way after sheltering in place and the solitude at home.
As Christine has written on her website:
“a bfloGAL is a girl who, no matter where she finds herself living,
calls Buffalo, NY her home”.