Altar Call - Jessica Ry'Cheal
Run July 9th - July 28th
Opens Saturday, July 13th 5 to 9pm
In “Altar Call,” Southern Multidisciplinary Storyteller Jessica Ry'cheal explores themes of grief, mental illness, and generational trauma. Embracing the influence of her vivid Pentecostal upbringing, the artist uses self-portraiture to usher the viewer into a sanctuary of healing and self-reconciliation. For Ry'cheal, the departure from organized religion was the genesis of the artist’s journey home to self. However, the tension between traditional faith practices and the shift from holiness to wholeness creates an emotional dialogue about forgiveness and self-discovery. In this body of work, we are invited to hold the complexities of past and present influences in harmony as we experience a stained-glass mosaic of vulnerability, resilience and freedom.
Jessica Rycheal is an Interdiscplinary Storyteller and Senior 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.
Rycheal’s debut museum exhibition, Everyday Black—a contemporary photography exhibit at the Northwest African-American Museum—pulled her 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. Rycheal’s photography archive affirms the individuality of black folks by capturing her subjects with an intimacy and honesty that makes them feel familiar, like kinfolk. Her body of work is a homage to the beauty and heroism of blackness, and an exploration of the spectrum of identities within it.
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 are varied, the common thread unifying her diverse means of expression is story-telling. It is this passion for storytelling that yields the emotive, impactful and relatable body of both strategy and creative work for which Rycheal is known.