Meet Cece Stronach, founder of #RuminateCLT

Meet Cece Stronach, founder of #RuminateCLT
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I’m constantly amazed at how many awesome people there are in Charlotte. There are an infinite amount of people here doing absolutely amazing and truly inspiring things.

Meet my Twitter friend, turned real-life friend, Cece Stronach.

She’s a visionary, avid cyclist, dream strategist and one of Charlotte’s game changers! She’s involved with so many things, including the Charlotte Creative Interventionists.

She’s an artist residing in Charlotte, whose goal is trying to bridge the gap between the arts and food scene.


“I’m trying to put rumination into a lot of different things, using my art as the platform to weave it into to everybody’s life,” she told me.


She will be introducing #RuminateCLT to Charlotteans soon. Not to be confused with the Ruminate Project (the larger creative umbrella under which this project falls), #RuminateCLT is an art series or a collection of food art, with the goal of bring together the art culture and the food culture in Charlotte.

For this series, Cece has had the opportunity to collaborate with some of Charlotte’s best chefs. Clark Barlowe of Heirloom, Matthew Krenz of The Asbury, Ashley Boyd of 300 East, Paul Verica of Heritage, Joe Kindred of Kindred, Trey Wilson of Customshop and Ben Philpott of Block & Grinder. Can we say, “WOW!”?

“The Ruminate Project started when I was scrolling through Instagram. I followed Matthew Krenz from The Asbury. I saw one of his plates that he had done and I asked him if I could paint it. He said, ‘Yeah, paint whatever you want.’ So I got a canvas, and spent probably a month painting Chicken Liver, the first completion of the series. As I was doing that, I was thinking of all of the passion, and all of the planning, and all of the ingredients that were on the plate, and how beautiful it was and how you couldn’t even tell that it was chicken liver. You couldn’t tell that there was a quail egg or fennel or any of that stuff on it.”


“From there, I was also exposed to the cooperative community with the chefs and farmers and meat co-ops. I just think that the culture they’ve established through the community, the sustainability not just for the farm to table sort of thing, but for friendships and family and supporting each other in different ways is amazing.”


Cece has also partnered up with artist Craig Morrow for the #RuminateCLT series. He’s been in Charlotte for 25 years and is a downright family man. He has his own artistic style, as well as a list of awesome people he’s working with.

Rumored collaborations include: Futo Buta, Bleu Barn Bistro, Yummi Bahn Mi, What the Fries food trucks and Joe’s Doughs. Cece and Craig bring totally different styles of art to this project – I’m so excited to how this turns out!


“I think that the food scene, that they’re creating with the Piedmont Culinary Guild and beyond is great, it’s not just necessarily those chefs. That sort of culture needs to be brought out to people, networks and other industries so people can see what’s happening. To further promote that non-competitive mindset, because that’s going to change things. It’s a big part of culture changing and establishing, because we really don’t have a defined culture. It’s not going to be a culinary city, I don’t think. But it’s going to be a big part of the culture being established and become something.”

#RuminateCLT will be showcased at Free Range Brewery from September 28 through November 9. There will be an opening artist reception in early October, date TBD.

It is without a doubt, going to be an insane group of artists, food trucks, chefs, foodies, beer lovers and more all in one place, at one time. Can we say EPIC? I’ve already got this penciled into my schedule.

Acting as sort of a fundraiser for the #RuminateCLT series, Cece has implemented something called Post-It Goats. “Your note + my goat = our creative collaboration.” I personally love this.

For $15, you pick a quote and where you would like to send it, and Cece will personally draw an amazing goat, on a post-it, incorporate your quote and send it to said address. It’s amazing. The one’s that I’ve seen are hilarious and downright entertaining. I was lucky enough to get a goat of my own!


So what does Cece want Charlotteans to learn?

“The Ruminate project is something that I want to do that goes beyond just the food and art. You can ruminate a lot of things. You can ruminate art with music, yoga, maybe even cycling. The rumination process is just repetitive, ‘chewing the cud’. Everybody can deep think about what we want to do, but it creates hesitation. The main philosophy that everyone could learn from is to be able to swallow that bite, and take the next bite and get things rolling. Start initiating a process to do stuff or making the connections that you want to make.”

Connect with Cece:


*Cece’s artwork can also be seen at Canvas Tattoo & Art Gallery. Check out her seven-foot tall goat (above). I mean it’s a goat, and it’s SEVEN FEET TALL. I plan to go there after I am through eating massive amounts of cake down the street at The Gallery South End.

All photos via Cece Stronach. 

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