New space: April Branco in her new gallery at Washington Mall. The April Branco Gallery opens tomorrow at 9am. *Photos by Kageaki Smith
New space: April Branco in her new gallery at Washington Mall. The April Branco Gallery opens tomorrow at 9am. *Photos by Kageaki Smith
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Bermuda artist April Branco is opening a gallery featuring her work and that of nine other artists.

The April Branco Gallery opens tomorrow downstairs in the old Washington Mall where Pirate’s Port use to be.

The gallery is a “dream come true” for the young pastel artist whose tutors have included Sharon Wilson and Edmund Smith.

Alexandra Mosher has created a new line of jewellery in time for the opening (the Rorschach Ink Blot collection), there will marine oil paintings by Chris Grimes, landscapes in oil by Rhona Emmerson and woodwork by Milton Hill.

Other works include crochet scarves and jewellery by Rene Hill and glass lamps by Gary Whitehead.

Ms Branco told the Bermuda Sun: “I have always wanted to paint full time — I always said I would sit on the floor and eat cheese and crackers if I had to as long as I could paint full time.

“This will be different to other galleries in Bermuda — this is what I call a barefoot gallery. I wanted a place where, as a 25 year old, I would be interested to go and see what’s new. I don’t have to show up at the gallery to find out what’s on, I can go on Facebook, I can go on the website, I can blog the owners, the artists and talk to them on the website. The Gallery is going to be as much virtual as it is physical.

“There will be a featured painting of the week, you will see everything that’s new and you will get to meet the artists.

“It’s not stiff and it’s not stodgy, it’s just my people.”

Ms Branco, along with other artists, will be painting in the gallery every day and spoken word artist Stephan Johnstone will also be performing occasionally. There will also be evening art classes on weekdays for adults and children.

All her life Ms Branco has wanted to paint full time and own have her own gallery. She gets her creative genes from her family who have always encouraged her to pursue a career as a professional artist.

She studied figure drawing with Edmund Smith at Bermuda College before being tutored by Sharon Wilson, whom she describes as her mentor, for two and a half years.

Her work is regularly featured in exhibitions, most often it can be seen at the Bermuda Society of Arts and Dockyard. She had her first show back in 2007 and has since had one solo show.

The gallery will be open tomorrow from 9am to 6pm. Some of the artists will be there to meet and greet and Rhona Emmerson will be doing face painting from 12pm until 3pm.