Casey Ruble: Everything That Rises

Mitzi & Warren Eisenberg Gallery
September 20, 2015 – January 17, 2016
work by Case Ruble

An exhibition on memory, rebellion, and the meaning of place, Everything That Rises is a series of small-scale paper collages depicting two types of sites in the artist’s home state of New Jersey: former Underground Railroad safe houses, and places where race riots have broken out. Ruble has traversed the state researching and documenting these sites, most of which today seem historically unremarkable—the kinds of places you drive by without noticing. Picturing hair salons, empty fields, boutique stores, and abandoned buildings, Ruble’s collages have a quiet eeriness that speaks to the ways we remember—and forget—the charged events of our country’s history of race relations.

The title of the exhibition is taken from a short story by Flannery O’Conner, “Everything That Rises Must Converge,” about an altercation that occurs in the wake of the racial integration of the bus system in the South.

Casey Ruble was raised on a ranch in eastern Montana, and has lived in New Orleans, Chicago and New York. She received her BA from Smith College and her MFA from Hunter College. She has taught painting and drawing at Fordham University since 2001 and has worked as a freelance critic for Art in America since 2006. Ruble is represented by Foley Gallery in New York City. Recent solo shows include Disarmed at Foley Gallery and The Offing at Foundation Gallery in New Orleans. Her work is included in the 2013 Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas, edited by Rebecca Solnit and Rebecca Snedeker. A 2013 recipient of the New Jersey Council on the Arts Fellowship, Ruble currently resides in a village overlooking the Delaware River in New Jersey.

View Exhibition Catalogue Here

For Educators: Interdisciplinary Lesson Plans

Select below from a variety of engaging lesson plans created for your classroom!

All lesson plans:

  • align with NJ Visual and Performing Arts Standards, Common Core ELA Standards, and
    NJ Social Studies Standards;
  • are designed for grades 5 – 12;
  • are accompanied with full-color PDFs of the artwork and background information for

Every Picture (Silently) Tells a Story
Grades 8 – 12  |  US History, Social Studies, Art
How can art tell a story?  Students will explore two collages and articulate what story the artwork is telling.  The historical background of each scene will allow students to analyze whose story gets preserved in history.
Click to download.

Picturing the Present via the Past
Grades 6 – 12  |   Art, Social Studies, US History
What history might be hidden in plain sight? Students will discover the hidden history behind the scene of one of Casey Ruble’s artworks, research a local historic site and, using similar artistic techniques, create their own collage.
Click to download.

Talking Pictures
Grades 9 – 12  |  Language Arts/English, Social Studies, US History, Art
Exploring the link between literature and history inherent in the artwork, students will further explore how art can tell stories by creating a story of their own based on one of the collages in Everything That Rises.
Click to download.

Hidden History
Grades 8 – 12;  |  US History, Social Studies, English/Language Arts
How can we explore the hidden history that surrounds us? Students will analyze collages and imagine what might have happened at these sites. Learning more about the actual events that are “hidden” in these scenes, students will be inspired to share that history with a wider audience.
Click to download.