THE INTERSECTION OF PASSION & PURPOSE
Jessica Rycheal is an Interdiscplinary Storyteller and Art Director from Macon, Georgia. Rycheal received a BFA from Georgia Southern University. After spending a few years cultivating her talents in the southeast, Rycheal relocated to Seattle. She's carved space for herself in the pacific northwest with a career in visual design strategy and art direction. Projects for global brands like Amazon, Gatorade, and Under Armour have employed Jessica’s leadership and expertise from Seattle-based agencies to studios in Germany.
Her debut museum exhibition, Everyday Black—a contemporary photography exhibit with Zorn B. Taylor at the Northwest African-American Museum—pulled Jessica Rycheal’s activism around black visibility and inclusive representation into focus. Her portraits explore the depth and humanity of blackness, in a sociopolitical climate where inequity and displacement eclipse black visibility. Her work gives reverence to “regular black folks,” as she captures her subjects with an intimacy and honesty that makes them feel familiar, like kinfolk. Rycheal’s photography archive underlines the beauty and heroism of blackness and its resilience.
However, Jessica’s healing journey and a few intuitive guides led her back to her first love, writing. Her sultry approach to storytelling blends spoken word and song, as she ushers her audiences through wittingly transparent tales of healing, generational trauma, self-love, and romance. Her performances have been featured at Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Public Library, and Seattle Womxn’s March.
Though the mediums through which Jessica Rycheal works evolve, the common thread unifying her diverse means of expression is story-telling. Her passion for story-telling is rooted in a love for people and advocacy for holistic black liberation and visibility. It is this love and passion that yield the emotive, impactful and relatable body of work for which Rycheal is known.
The Art of Black Urbanism
University of Washington, Seattle
Gould Gallery, 2019
Westlake Center, 2019
Northwest African American Museum
Northwest Gallery, 2018
The Skin I’m In
TAF Bethaday Communiity Center
Curated by C. Davida Ingram and Leilani Lewis, Northwest African American Museum, 2018
Blackness has long played a crucial part in how we understand race in the United States. Contemporary artists Jessica Rycheal and Zorn B. Taylor use the camera’s lens to shine a light on notions of race and chosen communities through portraiture. Along the way, they offer up their own meaningful meditations on black communities in their photography.