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UMPI to host talk by artist who works for Switzerland watch company Breguet

Monday, 27 February 2012

The University of Maine at Presque Isle's Art Program will host guest artist Calina Shevlin on Monday, Feb. 27, at 5 p.m. in the Pullen Art Gallery for a talk on the highly skilled art form she practices in the office as well as the art she pursues when she's off the clock. The public is invited to attend this free event.

Shevlin currently works for the prestigious watch manufacturer Breguet in Switzerland – where a good watch can go for about $200,000 – as a guillocheur. Guillocheurs are a rare group of artists who practice the art of guillochage, a very skilled type of engraving used especially in the high-end watch industry. To "guilloche" means to decorate the face of an object with patterns of tiny engraved lines – lines smaller than a single strand of hair. These engravings can be made on the watch face, the back of the watch and on its moving parts.

When she's not creating such intricate patterns for Breguet, Shevlin pursues her own art, which incorporates maps, landscapes and found objects. Her three-dimensional renderings encase some of these elements in small vessels, while layering other pieces on top and in front of the vessels to create her interpretation of a specific place.

Shevlin earned her BFA in Metalsmithing and Jewelry from Arizona State University in 2006. She received her MFA in Metals and Jewelry from the University of North Texas in 2011. Born in Madrid, Spain, Shevlin has had the opportunity to "grow up everywhere and travel to the places" where she hasn't lived.

Shevlin said she has always been inspired by the places she visits and, with her job at Breguet, finds herself traveling to many more places each year, including short day trips around Europe to gather information and materials for her pieces. Shevlin spends time in these places that inspire her for one reason or another, gathering substrate and objects found at her feet, which she later incorporates into pieces – often brooches – that convey the feeling of the place to the viewer and/or wearer.

Shevlin's visit to the University was coordinated by UMPI Assistant Professor of Art Hyrum Benson, who just happens to have a close connection with the artist. The two attended graduate school and worked together in northern Texas. When Benson found out she was coming to Maine to visit a friend downstate, he invited her to pay a visit to UMPI for a guest talk, and Shevlin graciously accepted.

"This is going to be a great opportunity for our Art students and members of the community to meet an artist working overseas in a highly specialized art form," Benson said. "We hope many will turn out to hear Shevlin's talk, which is bound to be engaging and informative."

For more information about this free art talk, which is open to the public, contact the University's Community and Media Relations office at 768-9452. For more information about Shevlin's work, visit www.calliemay.com.