Ketcham, Raymond

Address: 823 Water St Suite A, Port Townsend, WA
Phone: 360-461-4446
Teacher/Instructor: Yes

Past exhibits and events with Northwind 

2017 I Have a Name series in the Northwind Arts Center gallery
2015 Through the Wall Session at The Boiler Room - Learning to See: What Makes a Good Photograph

About Ketcham's Work

Large format portraits accompanied by documentary images of young people somewhere between youth and adulthood. 

Over the course of several years, Raymond Ketcham spent time with customers and workers at The Boiler Room in Port Townsend and got to know the men and women who gather there. Slowly he began making the remarkable and intimate portraits and documentary images that comprise the I Have a Name series.

Each of his photographs captures its subject at an essential moment of their journey to know themselves. In the large-scale portraits, each person looks directly at the camera, wide-eyed and vulnerable, permitting us to see them exactly as they are but it is their generous look back at us that invites us to truly know them. Smaller documentary images broaden out to locate their subjects in a larger environment, at the Boiler Room, a place that has helped hundreds of Port Townsend residents find support and a sense of community, as well as job training.

Artist Statement

Every human being faces the question of identity, of knowing him or herself. Who am I? Where do I belong? What group, or nation, or tribe do I claim as mine? Identity is fluid and prismatic, ever changeable, and endlessly transformed by time and circumstance. Its Latin root means sameness, both an enfolding and a restrictive notion, conveying our twin desires to belong to something larger—a relationship, a community, a profession, a cause—and to be distinct; ourselves; in the face of identity’s flux, to be able to say this is who I am.


Ray Ketcham is a photographer and the editor-in-chief and co-founder of the digital and print magazine, Rear Curtain, devoted to the art of storytelling and photography. He has lived in the Pacific Northwest since 1970 and attended Western Washington University, studying art and art history. His sculptures were represented and exhibited by the NN Gallery in Seattle and the Anhalt Gallery in Beverly Hills. In 1989 Ketcham turned his creative attention to photography and has worked as a freelance photographer and exhibited his own photographic work since. His clients include nonprofit organizations and businesses, including the Mae Fah Luang Foundation and Doi Tung Coffee, in Thailand; Homeward Bound, in Port Angeles; and the Jefferson County Library.

Ray Ketcham is also a mentor and teacher to emerging photographers in the U.S. and abroad. He has taught weekend and weeklong workshops on photography in Port Townsend, Missoula, and New Orleans. In 2015 he was awarded an artist’s residency at SPACE, an interdisciplinary residency program of the Ryder Farm, in Brewster, New York. The residency was dedicated to challenging other photographers to make work that matters.


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