Sound Stories. Sound Voices.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
You are on the KUOW archive site. Click here to go to our current site.
Erin Austin, singer and songwriter for Ok Sweetheart Seattle is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation, with thousands of newcomers arriving each year. Many come with big dreams they hope to realize in our city.What is it about this place that invites these dreamers? And why do they stay?We’ll tell you about the game-changers who put Seattle on the map as a place where we innovate in tech, arts, social activism, science and medicine. And we’ll profile today’s dreamers who are shaping the Seattle of tomorrow.Tell us who you see creating and innovating in Seattle.

Looking at black Seattle through the lens of a camera

As a kid in Macon, Georgia, Jessica Rycheal never imagined she’d become an artist. It  was something to do in her spare time.

She was the first in her family to go to college and she felt the unspoken pressure to be a professional.

“Fairly low-income families don’t have any idea of how to make an artist career without being the starving artist,” Rycheal says.

She enrolled in business classes and was miserable. A counselor suggested she try graphic design.

Now, at age 29, a continent away from her hometown, Rycheal has established both a successful commercial design career and a reputation as a fine art photographer.

Her recent work reflects her experiences as a person of color in a predominantly white community.

“When I moved to Seattle, I was like, ‘I can count on one hand how many people of color I see around me,'” she says.

Now Rycheal uses her art to explore what it means to be black in 21st century America.

“A lot of times blackness is viewed as a class of people. It sort of strips the individual black person of their humanity,” she says. “That is the most important thing for me as an artist, to reassert the humanity of black people.”

Click on the top photo to see some of Rycheal's work.

[asset-images[{"caption": "Everyday Black, an exhibit of portraits by photographers Jessica Rycheal and Zorn B. Taylor is on display on Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, at the Northwest African American Museum in Seattle. ", "fid": "142882", "style": "placed_wide", "uri": "public://201802/MF_JessicaRycheal02.jpg", "attribution": "Credit KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer"}]]