Ruthie Abel (born 1974 Charlotte, NC; lives Brooklyn, NY) is a multidisciplinary artist whose work is grounded in two decades of advocacy for human rights, civil liberties and environmental justice initiatives. She received a BA from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, an MIA from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a JD from Columbia Law School, with additional studies at the International Center for Photography. Abel has exhibited nationally and internationally, and has received grants/awards from the New York State Council on the Arts, FUJI Film, Peter Reed Foundation and United Photo Industries. Abel’s work has been featured or reviewed in Artnet News, Artsy, Newsweek, Topic Stories, The Huffington Post, Vogue, Purple Diary and Musee Magazine.
Statement from the Artist:
“Above The Fold” consists of more than 50 unique screenprinted portraits of migrant youth from the news, printed with indigo ink onto clippings from newspapers across the country that do not reveal where any individual child resides. The works seek to acknowledge that all across the United States, migrant youth face deportation proceedings without legal aid. The screenprinting process itself also serves as a protective mechanism, redacting the subjects’ identifiable details while retaining the integrity of their likenesses. The use of repeating imagery underscores the magnitude of the issue, each print reworking a daily newspaper that overlooked children in crisis. Varying the geographical source of the newspapers also reflects that many migrant youth are moved from state to state without notice to their families or attorneys, compounding their displacement.
Participating youth have received pro bono legal representation and their guardians have consented to their participation.