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Our Story

Who We Are: The Seguinland Institute is a collection of scholars, boat builders, artists, mindfulness practitioners, back-to-the landers, thinkers, and tree dwellers. We are based on the coast of Maine, in Georgetown, a village with a rich history of maritime traditions, artist retreats, and back to the land living. The influential band of artists who inhabited this small town in the 20th Century—including Marsden Hartley, Paul Strand, F. Holland Day, Marguerite Zorach and Gaston Lachaise—are referred to as artists of the “Seguinland”. Seguinland Institute is an educational non-profit organization (501c3), founded in 2008.

What We Do: We create immersive, experiential, light-your-mind-on-fire-while-giving-you-purpose-and-perspective college-level programs that combine academic rigor, mindfulness practice, visual pedagogy, and a back-to-the-land work ethic intended to guide us all toward personal and planetary thriving. No small task. We’re asking you to go big.

Our Big Questions: We’re asking, “What is it you plan to do with this one wild and precious life?” (Mary Oliver).  What counts as the good life? What is our great work? What is the needful thing of our time and place? How now shall we live? How do we navigate the fertile tensions between autonomy and belonging, solitude and community, utopianism and nostalgia, simplicity and complexity? How do we do so with style and joy?

How We Do It: Our grapplings with these questions are heightened and honed by reading great books, paddling old canoes, writing tip top essays, stargazing, discussing, creating, being grasped by awe and wonder, contemplating, and getting our hands dirty in the garden. Also, roasting marshmallows and, occasionally, soaking in a wood-fired cedar hot tub 20 feet up in the trees (seriously). We’re also big on innovative visual pedagogy based on the latest in “design thinking”, aesthetics, and neuroscience. For one thing, we create giant murals of all of our collective learning experience. To paraphrase philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, we think in pictures.

Where You Come In: We invite you to step away from the buzzing and blooming confusion of everyday life to dedicate time to sustained reflection on the big questions while inhabiting the singular coastline of Maine. Join us for a May term courses or a Fall semester of experiential inquiry into the good life and the great work.