Throw a Gallery-Worthy Gathering
Throw an ethereal artist's dinner party worthy of its own spotlight.
Greenville-based artist Marquin Campbell is a modern-day renaissance woman. Give her any medium, and from it, she makes art. Her vast portfolio includes everything from stunning acrylic originals to, most recently, colorful and bold textiles. In celebration of her new luxury fabric line’s release, Campbell threw a dinner party in her art studio. Because she’s a creative extraordinaire, the event was spectacular and entirely unique. Luckily for us, Campbell is as generous as she is talented. She’s sharing her tips for throwing a gallery-worthy gathering. From artfully-executed signature craft cocktails to hand-crafted party favors, each personal party touch that Campbell chose made her party ever the more special. Plan your own perfect dinner party using Campbell’s creative tips, including dainty appetizers, casual-yet-classy table settings, and original entertainment. With an artist’s touch, your dinner party will dazzle your guests – and provide lasting memories (and beautiful photos) for you to remember for years to come.
Meet the Hostess
Campbell's work is well known in the Upstate South Carolina area. The artist majored in Drawing and Painting at the University of Georgia, and went on to study Fashion Design in New York City at Parsons, the New School for Design.
Pick Your Party Theme
Marquin Campbell thematically centered all of her party's features around unique and the unusual detail pairings. “You don’t need to have shock and awe to leave guests with great memories. Unusual, unique pairings are a party hit anywhere,” said Campbell.
Go Effortlessly Eclectic
With the help of Interior Designer Amanda Louise Campbell, Campbell paired vintage flatware with family china to create her party’s effortlessly chic décor. Choose similarly colored dishes from various time periods for a layered, intricate tabletop. Campbell served cocktails in upcycled Rewined drinking glassed, blended high and low pieces for an elegant, effortless table setting.
Give Functional Favors
When preparing for your party, shop local, and shop for items that guests can use during your party, and then take home as a functional memento. You’ll kill two birds with one stone by following Campbell’s example – she purchased handcrafted wooden cutting boards handcrafted by Slab Woodworking that served as both bread plates and party favors. Campbell also gave out sangria scented Rewined candles as a nod to the event’s signature cocktail.
Serve Sweet and Savory Samples
Typically, appetizers are savory. Creative as always, Campbell broke with tradition, and served savory bites alongside sweet cookies. “The unexpected flavors will leave a lasting impression on your guests.” Serve savory cheese alongside pickled fruit, and salty nuts alongside sweet tea cookies.
Recreate Campbell’s Appetizer:
Ingredients: Triple cream cheese, aged sharp cheddar, pickled peaches, pickled figs, local berries, local honey, Greenbrier Farms roasted walnuts, lemon syrup, and Carolina Girl Cooks Tea Cookies in Orange Cardamom and Lavender.
Assembly: On a large wooden cheese board, alternate ingredients in arranged rows. Drizzle honey over berries, and lemon syrup over pickled fruit.
Get an Ice-cube Upgrade
Most parties have cocktails, but the standard pour over a few ice cubes is hardly memorable. Instead, Campbell chose a trendier way to cool down the cocktails: with fruity popsicles. A twist on Olive and Tate’s signature Summer Sangria recipe, Campbell’s cocktails “were not only cute and refreshing, but also provided a great conversation starter.”
Get the recipe for Olive and Tate’s Summer Sangria with Blueberry Lemon Popsicles.
Provide Artful Entertainment
“You don’t need a jazz trio to provide live entertainment to your guests,” says Campbell. For her creative gathering, Campbell invited a local artist C. Brook Ring to live-paint a beautiful flower arrangement by floral designer Kate Asire. Her guests enjoyed watching the painting unfold, and appreciated the artists’ interpretation of the designer’s arrangement. Look for an art student, or an up-and-coming artist; expect the price to be about $200.00 for two hours. At the end, you can keep the painting, or gift it to the party’s hostess.
Make Fresh, Fancy Food
Make your menu memorable by building it around local, seasonal dishes. Don’t let images of rural farms mislead you: fresh vegetables can be fancy. Campbell served a two-course meal, featuring a bright summer salad and a tasteful charcuterie board. Get the recipe for Greenbrier Farms Summer Solstice Salad with Pesto Deviled Farm Egg Garnish.
For the charcuterie board, choose your favorite local producers, and purchase a selection of your favorite precooked meat. Campbell filled her board with local meats from Greenbrier Farms Meats, smoked pimiento cheese with candied bacon, grilled vegetables, goat cheese terrine, and pepper jelly.
Finish with A Dainty Dessert
In keeping with her gathering’s creative theme, Campbell served a picturesque arrangement of artfully plated, uniquely flavored cheesecake bites in flavors like Honey Lavender, Orange Cardamom, Chocolate Chip Rosemary Sea Salt, and Rose.
Get the recipe for Carolina Girl Cooks’ Honey Lavender Cheesecake Bites.