Marginalia, Graduate Blog

Thesis critique post mortem…

Tom Ruiz presenting during thesis critiques

Thesis critiques have come and gone. Yay! Now it’s time to figure out where to go next. There is really nothing I have experienced like the critiques in the Interdisciplinary Arts MFA programs here at Columbia College Chicago. They can be pretty intimidating, but they are designed to give you a set of tools to take with in your professional art practice.

Thesis critique post mortem…

Thesis critiques have come and gone. Yay! Now it’s time to figure out where to go next. There is really nothing I have experienced like the critiques in the Interdisciplinary …

Interdisciplinary Book & Paper Arts MFA Dustin Seelinger, dustin.seelinger@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

Critical Revelations

Bad Religion at the Double Door

My thesis critique is next week (ahhhhhhhhh!!)!! I’ve spent the last few weeks humming and hawing about what exactly I was going to do for it. Originally I wanted my thesis install in the gallery to be a straight reflection if the work I make; drawings, video, weird kid friendly play-sculptures, my zine. The original pitch to faculty didn’t go over that well; it seems like too scattered of an install. During that conversation, an alternative play date was brought up. Since social practice is something I’m interested in, I thought, why not? So I built a new proposal to create a space for kids to learn about the punk scene while their parents could get together to have a conversation about parenting. I met with my advisors and they did not like the idea at all. They mostly thought that it would look too cutesy. But… During that meeting, we spent a lot of time speaking about what is and is not considered punk and the motivations of the genre. After 50 minutes, my zine came up and they were like, that’s the thing. And so it is.

Critical Revelations

My thesis critique is next week (ahhhhhhhhh!!)!! I’ve spent the last few weeks humming and hawing about what exactly I was going to do for it. Originally I wanted my …

Interdisciplinary Book & Paper Arts MFA Dustin Seelinger, dustin.seelinger@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

Thesis bound.

By Dustin Seelinger Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts MFA 8/21/14

By Dustin Seelinger

So, at the end of last semester, I received a conditional pass into thesis. This meant that I was tasked with expanding my body of work over the summer and following up with faculty to meet before the fall semester starts. I had that meeting yesterday. It went ok. I’ll spare you all the details, but I did pass into thesis. I don’t know if I completely agree with this whole process, but I will say that I love where my work is going right now.

Would it be traveling at this speed and trajectory had I not gotten a “conditional” last semester?

Thesis bound.

So, at the end of last semester, I received a conditional pass into thesis. This meant that I was tasked with expanding my body of work over the summer and …

Interdisciplinary Book & Paper Arts MFA Dustin Seelinger, dustin.seelinger@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

The end in the beginning…

photo by Dustin Seelinger Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts  MFA  Graduate Ambassador

photo by
Dustin Seelinger
Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts MFA
Graduate Ambassador

That was a crazy summer. Now it’s time to get my hustle on. We just got back from a month long super vacation and it was pretty awesome. The highlights involved some very nerdy expeditions. First off was a trip tracking down a bunch of filming locations from the coming of age—and very important for us 90′s kids—show Dawson’s Creek. My wife and I spent an entire day driving all over Wilmington, North Carolina taking a bunch of pictures along the way. Maybe I’ll turn them into a zine. We finished the trip off finding set locations from another young adult pop culture world, that of the Hunger Games.

The end in the beginning…

That was a crazy summer. Now it’s time to get my hustle on. We just got back from a month long super vacation and it was pretty awesome. The highlights …

Interdisciplinary Book & Paper Arts MFA Dustin Seelinger, dustin.seelinger@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

Evolution of a Practice

Photo taken by Dustin Seelinger Interdisciplinary Book and Paper MFA

Photo taken by
Dustin Seelinger
Interdisciplinary Book and Paper MFA

As I’m checking in from a coffee shop called the Flying Pig on the coast in North Carolina, surrounded by a pile of research books for thesis, I wanted to write a little bit about evolving art practices. I’m sure I have mentioned this before, but my current practice is not at all the practice I thought I would have when I started at Columbia College Chicago’s Interdisciplinary Book & Paper Arts program.

Evolution of a Practice

As I’m checking in from a coffee shop called the Flying Pig on the coast in North Carolina, surrounded by a pile of research books for thesis, I wanted to …

Interdisciplinary Book & Paper Arts MFA Dustin Seelinger, dustin.seelinger@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

Surf’s up

Stay at home dad.

Stay at home dad.


We’re a few more weeks into summer now and things have been pretty busy around here. My wife is taking a couple of summer courses at her graduate school and I’m enjoying my time as full time stay at home dad. The weather has done what Chicagoland weather does these last few days and it’s been hot, humid, and then thunderstormy. It’s time for a change of scenery.

Surf’s up

We’re a few more weeks into summer now and things have been pretty busy around here. My wife is taking a couple of summer courses at her graduate school and …

Interdisciplinary Book & Paper Arts MFA Dustin Seelinger, dustin.seelinger@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

Summer Explorations

Hike in Thatcher Woods

Hike in Thatcher Woods


It’s summer! And I’m having a wonderful time! Let’s be completely honest, there are a few things as a student that I cannot stand about summer. Okay, pretty much just the one big one: finances. During the school year, I can’t really keep a job (other than this one, which I love by the way) due to having to balance my time with class work, studio practice, and family. This makes finding a summer job super difficult.

Summer Explorations

It’s summer! And I’m having a wonderful time! Let’s be completely honest, there are a few things as a student that I cannot stand about summer. Okay, pretty much just …

Interdisciplinary Book & Paper Arts MFA Dustin Seelinger, dustin.seelinger@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

Going it alone, not really.

Still from Swingin' Man

Still from Swingin' Man

Last week my wife was able to present at an international conference for mental health counseling as part of her graduate program at a neighboring school. Super proud of her. Her triumph meant extra challenges for me. Since it’s pretty much just her and I most of the time with the kiddos (our families are super busy and don’t live close) it meant that I was sole care provider for almost a week. Right in the middle of finals.

Going it alone, not really.

Last week my wife was able to present at an international conference for mental health counseling as part of her graduate program at a neighboring school. Super proud of her. …

Interdisciplinary Book & Paper Arts MFA Dustin Seelinger, dustin.seelinger@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

In the pipeline…

Old band photos

Old band photos


I’m in between a couple of projects right now, but I’m super excited about a few that I’m about to start working on. We’re doing a mini-grant review in my Connected Studio Practices class. Putting together the images to be presented to a panel of outside curators has sort of made me pause and reevaluate my practice. That along with a critique I received on an experiment in Autobiographical Art has really got me thinking of how to go in new directions.

In the pipeline…

I’m in between a couple of projects right now, but I’m super excited about a few that I’m about to start working on. We’re doing a mini-grant review in my …

Interdisciplinary Book & Paper Arts MFA Dustin Seelinger, dustin.seelinger@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

Never a dull moment…

Faculty Q&A at Admitted Student Day

Faculty Q&A at Admitted Student Day


The last few weeks have been absolutely crazy. The week before Spring break was critique week. This year’s critique week was a little different than years past. Responding to feedback from students from the year before, the Interdisciplinary Arts faculty decided to completely change the format. This time around, they wanted students to show as much physical work as possible, this year students reenacted performances, installed their work on the walls and as for me, I set up a merch table showing off my Zines and current body of handmade paper portraits and drawings. It was great.

Never a dull moment…

The last few weeks have been absolutely crazy. The week before Spring break was critique week. This year’s critique week was a little different than years past. Responding to feedback …

Interdisciplinary Book & Paper Arts MFA Dustin Seelinger, dustin.seelinger@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

The Graduate Experience