Play; Friends

As an adult it can often be hard to make friends. As a child it is your full employment. We all make friends through work and projects, but it is rare to see someone you think is cool without having much in common and say: “do you want to be friends?”

He had cool jeans and I was in a chatty mood and that is how I met Brooks Geenen. He was serving coffee and I was drinking it. A romantic intro if it were a Hollywood movie, and a delightful encounter in this life. We got to know each other and over a love for coffee and clothes, I asked him “do you want to be friends?” he accepted my invitation and thus started a fun friendship over drinks learning about each other’s ways. Brooks is an incredibly talented photographer and I was some guy with ideas. We would work together one day but wanted to pieces to fall as they may.

We booked a date for a shoot and figured out the details later. Leading up to the day I found a location. A beautiful giant building in St paul owned by Forage Modern Workshop and Summer-Winter Studios. The goal of the shoot was simply to take good photos that we enjoy to look at. All of these photos were shot on a 4x5 view camera. This is challenging to do because you are not able to snap a lot of photos and hope one looks good. You need to make sure all the settings, lights, range, focus, color, and subject is exactly right. Then everyone holds their breath… Brooks sets himself in the ready… and takes the picture. The focus and developing of each shot I found to be more engaging and thoughtful, and ultimately yielded rich beautifully composed pictures.

My role was to style the shoot. The models were Jessica Manning, a gifted songwriter and style guru, and Ashley Mary, a successful artist and illustrator. My collection of vintage clothes has grown over the years and so I went through every piece and pulled the things that I felt drawn to. I did not plan much before hand, I brought all the clothes and let the moment help me pick the outfits and used the feedback from everyone in the room. Clothes are meant to be worn and the exploration of garments on bodies is an intoxicating adventure.

All of this thought and design was important, but the main ingredient was Play. I can get caught up in the larger picture and drown in expectation when creating something. So this shoot was a space for 4 friends to play. No bad ideas, no mistakes, only a creative space welcoming ideas and aesthetic. We need space to play like when we were kids, making friends and just seeing what happens on the other side.

These photos are a result of friends who play.

Celebrating the opening of “Continuum of Will” by Brooks Geenen. Dec 7. 2018, Amery WI.

-Benjamin Kelly

Clothing Auction?


Clothing covers our bodies, yet exposes our personalities, it protects us from the elements and makes us vulnerable to our choices. It dictates our temperature and maneuvers our comfort. Clothing reacts to our mood, and composes our emotion. It is a statement of who we are and who we want to be. It is how we interact with other people without ever saying a word. An auction is the time and place to celebrate these things.


This auction has been a dream of mine for some time. Both to become an auctioneer and to bring people together to celebrate style. I am a big fan of clothes. I collect a lot of vintage, follow new brands and love to support makers and creators of all kinds. Evolving as a designer has opened me up to the vast world of fashion and clothing. It exists in a unique intersection between art and commerce which inevitably builds culture and constantly pushes the outward lines. The energy behind this is intoxicating, and so; what moment could encompass all of these feelings? An old (new) fashioned clothing auction.

Auctions have been around for centuries in many forms. They have sold land, fish, cars, etc… But the kind that attract me the most are fine art auctions. A moment where the people have a chance to obtain the world’s rarest goods and most coveted works of art. Like the infamous Modigliani painting “NU COUCHÉ” which fetched a whopping $157 million! Although the clothing at this event will be a hair lower in value…the excitement and pageantry will be just as rich.

Nu Couché by Amedeo Modigliani

Nu Couché by Amedeo Modigliani



The first unreserved Ritchie Bros. auction in 1958

The first unreserved Ritchie Bros. auction in 1958

October 21st will be a night to remember. 40 pieces have been collected: all styles, genders, sizes, and stories. Every pieces is certified one-of-a-kind. That means every piece was picked, made, and produced for this event to give you things that you will not get anywhere else. In addition, there will be vendors selling from curated collections including The Golden Pearl, Latitude MPLS, Prairie Lacrosse vintage, Ouecha and Moth Oddities. Hosted at the stunning Able brewing and Seedhouse in NE Minneapolis.

But how does it work?

Bidders will register for a paddle. That will be your bidding number. You will be able to see and try on all pieces (“lots”) as well as have all the information about them ahead of time. The auction will begin at 7:30 pm. (Paddle registration will close at 7:20) Each of the lots will be modeled on stage and the bidding will commence. The price will start low and quickly go up. To place a bid, all you have to do is raise your paddle and your bid is in. Pay attention to where the price is, but also pay attention to who else is bidding. Bidding will hit a point where the lot is almost sold and the auctioneer will call for any last bids. Then WHAM!! The hammer comes down and you, my friend, have won your item. You may bid on as many lots as you want. At the end of the auction you will pay the cashier and collect your bounty.

There will be a 15% buyer’s premium that is added to to every auction purchase. For example, if a piece sells at a hammer price of $100, you would pay a $115 total.

Dinosaur Hampton was created to celebrate style, free people to make choices they otherwise wouldn’t, help them find joy in the things they wear and inspire them to invest in quality garments made with love. On October 21st, arrive with an open mind and a quick hand, because you’re always one bid away from anything you want.

Sincerely, Benjamin Kelly