the time project
Joan Schwartz
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2014 Year 5: The Cloak of Gratitude: Over the course of the year I developed "the Cloak of Gratitude. I made the base of the cloak by piecing together found crocheted work with sections I crocheted. I asked a wide range of people to contribute statements of gratitude using the format: I am grateful that. . . or I am grateful for . . . . As a daily practice I chose one gratitude statement I received, and wrote on of my own. These were written onto cloth ribbons and tied into the cloak. The cloak was exhibited as part of a Violence Transformed exhibition at Roxbury Community College in August and at Jamaica Plain Open Studios in September. In both cases I invited gallery visitors to add their statements of gratitude and incorporated them into the cloak. At present i am working with a collaborator on a possible performance piece using the cloak and am using some of the statements as seeds for small drawings.
  gratitude gratitude_detail

Years 3/4: conversations with tea bowls: Between April 2012 and February 2013 I produced a series of tea bowls, small ceramic bowls inspired by those used in the Japanese tea ceremony. Each was unique in shape and glaze, and meant to feel good when held in the hands. Each week I took one of the finished bowls and went in search of someone to give it to -- someone I didn't know. In return I asked to take a photograph of the person's hands holding the bowl. My intention was to break through the barrier that separates us on the street, offer a gift to a stranger, and have some conversation -- to truly encounter someone new each week. When I returned home, I printed the photograph, wrote about our meeting, and posted it on a blog (

In February 2013 I had the opportunity to extend the project as part of E/merge, an interdisciplinary arts residency at Earthdance in Cummington, MA. I printed the images of hands and bowls onto fabric, and strung them, like Tibetan prayer flags. These defined a space where 19 people joined me for tea and conversation, choosing a tea bowl that they took home with them.

Again, in September 2013, as part of JP Open Studios, I strung the flags between trees in the garden of Loring Greenough House and invited people for tea. Over two days I had tea and conversation with 63 people, each leaving with a tea bowl. /a>


sean ruby mette david
angeline flags
2011 Year 2: life images: For the second year of the Time Project I collected photographic images each week, capturing them in the midst of daily life. I chose some, printed them, sometimes several times and in different sizes, and used them to make collages incorporating words and drawing. Looking back at them I feel that they truly trace my journey over the course of a year, becoming a diary in words and pictures of what was important and where I had been.
anhinga bedroom wall water
2010 Year One: The Goddess Project: For the first year of the Time Project I created 52 goddesses made of terra cotta and bisque fired. Each Monday a goddess was placed in the world in a different location. I allowed myself to be drawn to the locations rather than planning them out in advance, and spent time with the goddess in each place until words came to me. I wrote the words, placed them within the goddess, and photographed her in place. Each goddess was launched into the world with mindfulness and a wish for our world and the living creatures that inhabit it. The Goddess Project is documented in a book available at and online at
goddess 47 goddess 44 goddess 48 goddess 50
As an artist joan explores and works in clay, mixed media, and interactive/experiential process, to produce work for both intimate and public spaces. As a member of The Time Project she chose to commit to a weekly project, a discipline that afforded her the opportunity to experience the gradual changes that emerged in the work over the course of the year. While the ideas for the formats of the projects preceded the work, each of the individual pieces and encounters blossomed in the moment – in relationship to the materials and the interactions. In the first and third years the words came later, in reflection over each encounter, in the second year it was an integral part of each piece as it developed. Over the years she’s moved between the personal and the public – and is curious about where the next year will lead. In addition to the Time Project, Joan is a member of Studios Without Walls, an artists’ collaborative producing annual exhibitions of outdoor site responsive installations and Feet of Clay, a cooperative pottery studio. Joan’s website can be found at: