By Caroline Biggs

Published on December 1, 2015

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Photography by JENNY J NORRIS

BLOUSE silk charmeuse $665 moskov.co  

photography by  JENNY J NORRIS
text by  CAROLINE BIGGS

Art aficionado Blair Voltz Clarke throws a midday celebration to mark the opening of her Upper East Side gallery.

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Clarke hosts hip pop-up shows and parties in the gallery’s airy space.

DRESS chantilly lace, chiffon, and silk crepe $3,975 moskov.co ART“Double Stripe Set Clipped” painting by Laura Mosquera

creative affairs

Last October, after curating private art projects all over the world, Blair Voltz Clarke finally opened her first brick- and-mortar—and eponymous—gallery in the heart of New York City’s Upper East Side. To commemorate a successful first year of showings and collaborations, she brought together some of its choice artists and supporters for a stylish afternoon soiree inside the space. Guests such as Moskov fashion designer Khristine Mejia Catacutan and interior decorator Anna Burke noshed on homegrown dishes from neighborhood favorite August while admiring colorful artworks from Holland Cunningham, Sara Genn, and Natasha Law. The simple tablescapes included paintbrush place settings, abstract paintings by Cunningham, and white amaryllis floral bouquets from L’Olivier—allowing the cocktails and cuisine to take center stage. “The artists we represent here are more like family,” Clarke explains. “So it was a no-brainer to host a celebration here to wrap up a remarkable first year.”

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A masterpiece by domino’s very own market editor, Elaina Sullivan, adorns the gallery space.

“I’m Good With My Hands no. 3” painting by Elaina Sullivan

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Miniature artworks by artist Holland Cunningham adorned each guest’s place setting.

CENTERPIECES white amaryllis accented with variegated lily grass, lolivier.com   FLATWARE Fairfax by Gorham, antique LINENS matouk.com ART (place settings)paintings by Holland Cunningham

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festive fare

Chef Josh Eden of August shares a snippet of his seasonal menu.

GRILLED SHRIMP SALAD WITH YUZU RANCH DRESSING

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1⁄2 cups baby greens, mixed
  • 1⁄4 cucumber, sliced5 shrimp, seasoned with salt, black pepper, and olive oil; grilled
  • 1⁄4 cup shallots, fried
  • few sprigs of parsley

For the yuzu ranch dressing:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup crème fraîche
  • 1⁄2 cup dill
  • 1⁄2 cup shallots, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon yuzu kosho
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Mix all ranch dressing ingredients in a medium bowl and reserve.

Mix the baby greens and cucumber in a large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the ranch dressing and toss together. Place on a medium plate. Put the shrimp on top. Garnish with the fried shallots and parsley.

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BLAIR VOLTZ CLARKE DISHES OUT HER MOST IMPORTANT ENTERTAINING ADVICE: 

  • Prep ahead, always.
  • Get out of your kitchen— it’s your party, too!
  • Rethink your party favors. It isn’t about the cost but the personal meaning.
  • If the lunch or dinner is seated, never sit spouses next to each other.
  • Don’t skimp on dessert— it’s just as important as the main course!
  • Inexpensive, small votives add ambience to any setting. Be sure not to place them too high on bookshelves— a guest’s hair caught fire at our house one year!
  • With a large cocktail party, something I greatly admire is when the hosts stand by the entrance.
  • Don’t panic when fine china breaks— it’s a sign of a successful party!
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Belvedere mixologists served up crisp concoctions, including a signature martini.

BLOUSE crepe de chine $665 moskov.co