April Dawn is a contemporary realist pastel painter. An avid artist from young, she used whatever medium available growing up to create images. Expressing particular enjoyment and skill with figures, she was encouraged to pursue further training in representing the human form in charcoal at the Bermuda College and eventually pastel with Ms. Sharon Wilson, spending three years as her student and apprentice. Furthering her education at The Art Student’s League in Manhattan she fell in love with clay sculpture and has expanded her portrait work into three dimensional.
After several years as a Harbour Nights vendor, Ms. Branco began entering group shows with her paintings and eventually presented a solo exhibition of her work at the Bermuda Society of Arts in 2008. After a three month residency at Windjammer Gallery Ms. Branco went on to open her own gallery in the Washington Mall and proceeded to win the 2012 Best of Bermuda Award for Visual Artist. In 2017 she presented “A National Treasure” an exhibition at Gallery 117 introducing her collaboration with the H&H Gombey Troupe and offering a glimpse of her upcoming book “Bermuda Gombeys: UnMasked”, an in-depth study of the inner workings of Bermuda’s masquerade dance tradition.
A lover of the figure, you will find her paintings depict mostly people, with a focus on portraiture. Her portrait ROOTS II received Honorable Mention - Use of Medium in the 2011 Charman Prize. Juror Peter Higdon stated, “The level of detail, broad form and delicate tonality achieved using charcoal and pastel is tremendously impressive. This is a work of virtuosity.”
In addition to figurative work Ms. Branco also creates landscapes in oil and abstracts in acrylic. Regardless of the subject matter or medium, she has now made it her intention to use her images to uplift, inspire and give back to her community.