Lowcountry Travels: How to Host An Art Dinner Party: Gullah Inspiration at the Penn Center

Whether you are preparing to celebrate the holidays are just host friends for a night of fellowship, we have the inspiration you need to get that invite out today! If you are looking for a winter getaway with a unique experience, Beaufort, South Carolina, and the Penn Center are the perfect destination. The Penn Center was the first school established for freed slaves and still serves as a community meeting ground, event venue, museum and so much more. This historical treasure has so much history including a waterfront property where Martin Luther King wrote many of his speeches as well as countless historic buildings that you can not only tour but also stay the night.  If you are looking for a fun family or girlfriends experience in Beaufort, SC we suggest an Art Dinner Party. Today we are giving you the tips you need to Host An Art Dinner party with Gullah Inspiration at the Penn Center and have an inspirational shoot to match. With help from local vendors, we created an experience that will create memories for a lifetime. I highly encourage booking the Penn Center for any weddings, family reunions, girlfriend getaways or romantic weekends you are planning. It is full of art, culture, history and a beautiful backdrop of the Beaufort Lowcountry. Be sure to share images of your Lowcountry travels as well and share with us on social media using the hashtag #blacksouthernbelle and #visitbeaufort

Lowcountry Travels: How to Host An Art Dinner Party: Gullah Inspiration at the Penn Center


A Beautiful Venue

If you are looking for a beautiful venue with a rich African American history, then you should look no further than the Penn Center in Beaufort, SC



You must have great dishware for any dinner party but especially for an outdoor party. I chose to mix formal with informal here as well combining a good color scheme to match the art. You can’t go wrong with a neutral base for the plates and building colors with items such as the glasses and salad bowls.


Bar Area

What party is complete without cocktails. For an outdoor party at the Penn Center, a portable bar tray is perfect for your entertaining needs. Bring a few of your favorite beverages and mixers for a fun beverage station that can also serve as an area to display the art.




Floral arrangements are a must-have for a Lowcountry dinner party and we suggest the more color the better. We used inspiration from local Gullah artists to create this bold floral arrangement with help from local floral designer Renee Givens.


Different Types of Seating and Tables

Have various types of seating and tables for your guests to enjoy. The Penn Center had a Traditional picnic table that we used as a part of our dinner party fun. Don’t be afraid to mix the style of chairs and tables for a unique look to match the art.



Art Displays

Don’t be afraid to display your art in a unique way. At the Penn Center we wanted to highlight the trees, the land, and the dinner tables. Place art to match the backdrop and create conversation points for your guests.


Want to get more information on visiting Beaufort, SC and and St. Helena, please check out these resources:




Local Beaufort, SC Vendors

Venue: Penn Center, http://www.penncenter.com/

Photography: Captured by Kaitlin Rose Photograph, https://www.capturedbykaitlinrose.com/

Flowers: Lush Floral and Event Stylists, https://www.lushfloralstyle.com/blog/author/Renee

Artists:  Sonja Griffin Evans https://www.sonjagriffinevans.com/, Diane Britton Dunham, https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/diane-dunham.html

Dishware: Grayco Inc. https://graycoinc.com/

Styling: Black Southern Belle




** This post was done in partnership with Greater Beaufort – Port Royal Convention and Visitors Bureau. All Opinions are My Own***

Michiel Perry

Michiel is a Black Southern Belle living a lowcountry life. I love all things fashion, home decor and southern! When I am not running around doing fun stuff for Black Southern Belle, I live in antique stores and have a minor obsession with historic homes 🙂

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