#RuminateCLT Defined & a little something on social reciprocity.

I wanted to do a quick blog entry on the amazing article that Vanessa Smith  (@lifeundeveloped) wrote about #RuminateCLT in Charlotte Agenda. (You will see I'm going a little overboard below but if you haven't read the article, please read it has become an incredible way for me to share my vision for the project) 

Vanessa ruminated this story better than I have ever been able to tell it myself. Thank you, Vanessa and Charlotte agenda for being my voice when I couldn't speak <3 <3

Check out the article HERE



Some of you may know that I am a neurophilosophy/neuroscience NERD (I am love with the BRAIN).  My art can be easily seen, but a lot of my time is actually spent researching, theorizing and writing about human nature and creativity from a cognitive science perspective. 

I discovered another layer to the philosophy of The Ruminate Project this morning.  I continually hear that Charlotte's initiatives, groups, networks, neighborhoods are severely disconnected although there are many of us, including myself,  who are attempting to fill in those gaps with things like The Ruminate Project.  


I have an extreme sense of urgency, I take pride in my ability to "saturate time" and get things done.  When someone offers me an opportunity that feels like the right place for me to take my next step, I'm actually about to sprint up that first peak and see what's on the other side waiting for me.

With that said, I am well aware that there have been other established groups doing similar work in this city for a much longer amount of time.  That's great, but there is a new layer establishing in Charlotte.  We are an ultra progressive bunch armed with powerful visions of what this city can become and our actions have already begun to rapidly transform Charlotte. 


Expectations will always break your heart. 

This group has stopped the ruminated conversations questioning what Charlotte needs, what culture is, who culture is or who defines culture and what Charlotte's identity is.  

We are tired of wasting time talking and expecting things to happen.   We are strategists.  We are collaborating, we are cooperating, we are connecting each other and together have discovered the excitement in anticipating the incredible things that will grow out of our efforts.  

As connectors, we know that this social reciprocation is the fuel that is not just keeping our movements sustained, but they are also thriving and energized.  This is the power of connectedness we are creating. 

The door is wide open for anyone to step right in, there is no secret club initiative (although you should get Twitter), there are very little boundaries for what is possible.

My only warning is that within the limitless expansion, there is no room for hesitation, questioning credibility or ruminating. You have to be ready to keep chowing the next bite on your plate.  

With that being said, let's talk about what we can DO.:

Collaborate with The Ruminate Project


Pssst... #RuminateCLT has another artist

Before I dive into introducing the new face I just have to say, WHOA.  The past week has been a whirlwind. I spent the weekend trying to put the words together for this blog post and woke up to this wonderful write-up by Happenings CLT on The Ruminate Project and Post-It Goats.   SO MANY FEELS as I am discovering that other people are connecting to my vision with The Ruminate Project.    You can still join the collabaaah!-ration, support #RuminateCLT by getting or sending a goat, HERE.  And now onto more exciting things: 


Craig is an original TRIPLE-B:  Bearded. Bespectacled. Brazen. He is a family man, has been local to Charlotte for 25 years and he believes that Mirado Black Warrior is the finest pencil every made.  Don't worry I have never heard of it either-- but it must be worth looking into if Craig says so! 

I met Craig after seeing his doodles of FutoButa ramen on instagram and basically said "HEY CRAIG. I AM CECE, lookie here we are both creating arts of Charlotte food....  Let's find the best looking, best tasting food in Charlotte and create arts"

It was a no-brainer and we immediately began research... research as in bike ride 4 Joe's Doughs, goat + ramen pun fun with Futobuta... and sometimes even eating a 7-course dinner of desserts by the fabulous Ashley Boyd @ 300 East ( kudos to the great Joel Tracy on that set up)

It is impossible for me to produce enough art to do Charlotte's culinary cuisine scene or The Ruminate Project justice, so I have been lucky enough to find a genius art partner in this RUMINATION.   We are both thrilled about bringing a different perspective to the table of the beautiful things that these chefs and food entrepreneurs are doing to influence our city's culture and community, while also having the opportunity to showcase the contrast of our individual creative expression. 



#RuminateCLT will be in exhibition at Free Range Brewery Septmeber 28 - November 9th and will feature both of our chef + artist collaborations.  
Details on opening reception, and other fun details to follow in the coming months.


Until then....


Connect with us on social media for daily updates, tweet us, tag us, share ideas with us.   

Keep an eye on @PostItGoats for more photos of the beautiful "YOUR QUOTE + MY GOAT" Collabaaaah!-rations to start looping  back to social media from their snail mail travels. 

Follow Craig: @breadczar @breadczar 

Follow Cece: @cecestronach  @cecestronach

Follow Post-It Goats:  @PostItGoats  @PostItGoats

Hashtags defined:

#RuminateCLT: The name of the collection of arts created by Craig and I. Follow and tag for Post-It Goat updates and all-things related to The Ruminate Project

 #theartofpaintingplates: Follow for on-going progress of Cece's paintings and Craig's drawings


#RuminateCLT : A simple run down

Telling this story is getting a little easier... 

1. Food.  The food scene in Charlotte is undergoing an incredible growth right now, it is super exciting. So many new places, new people, new cuisine, new concepts, new ways of connecting, new social opportunities and exploration. 

Spot-light: The tremendous amount of fuel the culinary transformation is providing for the entire metamorphosis happening to Charlotte's community and culture. 


2.  Art.  I've been reading about Charlotte's confusing art scene since I originally came here in 2008. Where is the arts district? Should it be in South End? Should it be in NoDa? What about Plaza? Oh, galleries are going in the new Gold District too? We seem to be creating our own  struggle to cultivate the right creative identity for the city. 

Spot-light: What if the greatest solution is to not have an art district at all?   

Take a peek at the progress of The Ruminate Collection


3. Community and establishing a cooperative culture where all groups CHOOSE to work together.  There is something so beautiful about how the chefs I am working with have come together and are working together to promote, support and sustain each other, local farms, ranches, local businesses and organizations.   

Spotlight: These philosophies can be integrated into so many different industries.  I hope The Ruminate Project can be part of the ripple effect.


4. Creativity has no boundaries. One of my biggest objectives in my life, beyond #RuminateCLT, is to use my art as a tool and as a platform to evolve the way that we encourage creative expression. 

Lead and empower individuals to stay focused on understanding their passions, and on eliminating the fears and boundaries. That is how we discover our ability to accept that the talents in which, each possess, are important to the world and should be offered and put out into the world.   

Spotlight: We must begin to massively support creativity that goes beyond the traditional arts. 


5. Creative Collaboration with Post-It Goats.   A small scale example of what #RuminateCLT is all about and a chance for EVERYONE to get involved.  


Click here to participate and support The Ruminate Project


I cannot me more thrilled and appreciative for the good vibes and encouragement I have been getting from everyone on this project. Discovering that there are people out there that resonate with what #RuminateCLT represents is incredible to find! 


C'mere, lemme introduce you to Post-It Goats

"You pick the note and I pick the goat"

Post-It Goat Origin


After discovering one of my dear friends, Jen Malone, has a love for goats I made a fun little surprise doodle of a goat to throw in with the commissioned piece I did for her.   After drawing a few more goats doodles on post-it notes... I realized Post-It Goats is a great pun, and it can also become a fun way to publicize the project, creatively collaborate with more people and to have a little kick-start fundraiser for my work with The Ruminate Project.  


And now a short lesson in Animal Husbandry....  

Goats are a ruminant species of mammal.  They undergo a different digestion process than humans do. In order to acquire nutrients from their food they chew plant food, swallow once and the food undergoes a slight fermentation process in the stomach changing it into "cud".  The cud is then brought back up to the goat's mouth for further chewing and finally swallowed a second time for optimal, total digestion. 



What Does That Have To Do With My Paintings And The Ruminate Project?

 "Chewing the cud" is a figure of speech that we use to describe being deep in thought, muddling over a decision... and possible hesitation.  Often this can get in our way, especially in terms of expressing our passion and creativity.  One layer of hopes I have for The Ruminate Project is to inspire those who have been "chewing the cud" for much too long to finally swallow up and have the courage to take their next bite!!


Get Involved.


This is a small scale example of what #RuminateCLT is all about and a chance for EVERYONE to get involved.  


This is the potentially the most important part of the entire Ruminate Project.  There are so many layers to this project, beyond art and beyond food, I want everyone to join in, collaborate and follow along with us while we follow along with you.  Help create, discuss, laugh and be involved with this project because creating connectedness beyond the borders is what The Ruminate Project is really all about. 

I want this become social CREATION!  Are secretly fond of somebody? Mail your goat as a love note. Pick an inspirational quote and put your goat in a frame on your bathroom wall, send a goat abroad or for real,  I am willing to make a singing, dancing Post-It Goat delivery on my bike (extra fees may apply)..... Whatever you decide to do with your Post-It Goat is up to you, but get creative and SHOW US WHAT YOU DO.    Snap a picture, post it on Instagram/Tweet it to: @PostItGoats and hashtag #RuminateCLT and it will be reposted for the world to see.   I hope to accumulate enough to create a larger piece of art based on y'alls creations!! 


A final note and thanks

When I began developing this project about 4 months ago, I never imagined that Ruminate would keep ballooning as much as it has.  I have filled that balloon with so much passion and commitment to doing #RuminateCLT justice.   I am using the Post- It Goat campaign and sales as another way for me to accumulate the extra money it takes to support such a project. **All of the profits from Post-It Goat sales are going directly towards purchasing materials and supplies as I prepare the final pieces for an up-coming gallery show (We will talk more about this VERY SOON!!). ***