Talking Shop: Benjamin Ballerina takes a bow tomorrow at The Other Side Arts

Dylan Scholinski and Maggie Evans had a dream. It wasn't political, a dream that would change the world, or even necessarily a money-making scheme, though the latter wouldn't hurt; they just wanted to make and sell adorable children's clothing, made from reclaimed fabrics and set apart by Dylan's screen-printed graphics. So they put their heads and skills -- Dylan is an artist and Maggie a seamstress -- together, and Benjamin Ballerina: pretty tough clothing for kids was born. They'll launch the über-cute yet urban line on Friday, November 5, with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Other Side Arts, 1644 Platte Street. "We both love the idea of working with reclaimed fabrics," Dylan says, "and we were interested in launching a line inspired by the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi." In short, wabi-sabi is all about finding beauty in the natural course of things, from birth to death; Dylan admits a real love for things that have been thrown away by others, and such finds in turn inspire his Benjamin Ballerina photo imagery. "I take the images and blast them out into halftones and screen print them," he continues. "Then, Maggie uses them to create beautiful clothes." Each handmade piece is unique, and they've even created reclaimed wooden collages for displaying them.For the time being, you'll be able to buy Benjamin Ballerina clothing on Friday or at the pair's soon-to-be-stocked Etsy site. A portion of the sales will benefit Dylan's Sent(a)Mental Studios endeavors. Find more information at the Benjamin Ballerina website or on Facebook.
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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd