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Hark, who swims there?
By Rachel Shelly, Times Record, April 24, 2013
Review of "Aquarium" at Gatehouse Gallery
Installation by Mike's SMCC Introduction to Visual Art class.
"The thing that has been great to see is the spirit of play in the group. It's been an explosion of creativity," Branca said. That's a lesson plan most teachers want to repeat.

Romantics run happily amok
By Daniel Kany, Portland Press Herald, July 8, 2012
Review of "Humanity in Nature" at LC Bates Museum
"One of the most subtle pieces to double back on the power of the L.C. Bates Museum is Michael Branca's "It Grew That Way." The piece is little more than a section of a maple tree root that assimilated a piece of iron and some plastic as it grew around them.
In the context of the natural oddities surrounding it, the piece questions the frontiers between naturalist artifact and art -- while conjuring memories of any weird thing you ever found that struck you as somehow twistedly notable."


Painting the Unknown:
Gallery owner brings artists to Roxanne Quimby's proposed national park land

By Aislinn Sarnacki, Bangor Daily News, September 21, 2011
Review of "Painting the Unknown" at Northlight Gallery, Millinocket
"When I go out plein air painting, I like to think from a hiker's point of view and to really get down into it," said Branca, who climbed down a steep slope and propped his canvas between two boulders in order to paint his composition as close to the stream as possible. "In terms of being part of a group, that's something I don't usually do, though I do often put on a backpack with my stuff and go out painting. I was painting on the top of Katahdin two days later."


The Art of Assemblage
Ten Maine artists explore the bricolage of found objects
by Candace Koru, Maine Home and Design, Jan-Feb, 2009
"When you put together things that other people have thrown out, you're really bringing them to life--a spiritual life that surpasses the life for which they were originally created." --Louise Nevelson


In Residence
by Carl Little, Island Journal, vol. 24, 2008
Coastal retreats offer inspiration to financially challenged artists


Artscape: Michael Branca
Profile for the newsletter of Five Rivers Arts Alliance
by Seth Kelly, Fall, 2008.
"Branca often finds his inspiration by connecting with subjects that are not always meant to be noticed."


Big, Yet Tiny
by Ray Routhier, Maine Sunday Telegram, December 9, 2007
Review of "Tiny" at Whitney Art Works
"Michael Branca took 13 works of art that are really big -- he calls them the 'greatest hits of art history' -- and made them really small. The Bath artist did painted copies of "American Gothic,' 'Whistler's Mother,' 'Starry Night' and 10 others, each less than the size of your average postage stamp. None was larger than an inch in size. Branca says he wanted to help people get a better look at these classic works.
"Huh?"


SMCC Adds Art to Curriculum
Portland Press Herald, June 9, 2005
Michael Branca is Artist in Residence at Southern Maine Community College
"I do what I do because I love it and always have."


Bare Feat: Catching the Artist Michael Branca
in his Working Environment

by Maggie Knowles, Portland Phoenix, July 30, 2004
Review of "Caution: Wet Paint," Mike's wide-open studio/
evolving exhibition at Three Fish Gallery
"He saw balance. He saw simplicity. He saw sustainability. And he put it all on canvas."


Artist on the Job: Please Disturb
Michael Branca works in a Fishbowl at Three Fish Gallery

by Chris Busby, Portland Forecaster, July 21, 2004, page 5
Review of "Caution: Wet Paint," Mike's wide-open studio/
evolving exhibition at Three Fish Gallery
"one of Portland's most accomplished young artists in action."


Not a Who's Who, But a Very Good Start
by Philip Isaacson, Maine Sunday Telegram, Sept. 1, 2002, page 3E
Review of "Past, Present, Future" at Center for Maine Contemporary Art
"Fredrick Lynch, whose own large oil in the stairwell is a complex masterpiece, selected his former student, Michael Branca, and commented about the latter's two-part painting Connected by pointing out its "natural and uninhibited embrace of artistic license, exuberantly applied to anatomy and nature, convention and propriety, fashion and art trends." The work, too, is in the stairwell and should be sought out."


The Extraordinary Art of Michael Branca
by Aimee Curl, Maine Times, April 19, 2001, pp 20-21
Feature story about Mike, his bugs and his art
"His paintings are so warm and full that you can't help but feel at ease in their presence and want to smile back."


Naked & Smiling
by Christopher Thompson, Portland Phoenix, April 12, 2001, page 6
Review of Mike's solo show, "Naked & Smiling" at Filament Gallery
"Branca's work poses a series of musing explorations of humans' ambivalent relationships to nature and its inhabitants: vegetable, animal, and human. He also feels compelled to make artwork that you don't need to earn six figures to afford."


Coming to Terms with the Term
by Aimee Curl, Maine Times, October 26, 2000
Review of "The Unknown Generation: X? Who Are We?" at Maine Artists Space
"Typical of this generation of artists, Michael Branca's work spans the spectrum, from bugs and religion to classic oils and nature."


The X Styles
by Elisabeth Gold, Casco Bay Weekly, October 12, 2000, page 14
Review of "The Unknown Generation: X? Who Are We?" at Maine Artists Space
"...anytime someone tries to put a label on you, you better get as far away from that label as you can."


Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
by Andy Steiner, Utne Reader, December 1999, page 128
Spotlight on Mike's Real Dead Bugs
"Animal rights activists take note: Branca never kills the insects he uses in his art."


Buggin' Out: Artist Takes Break to Work Out the Bugs
by Dale McGarrigle, Bangor Daily News, August 14-15, 1999, pp H1 & H3
Feature story on Mike's Real Dead Bugs, including a visit to Mike's
cow pasture-studio at Skowhegan
"I started it as a kind of social experiment."


A Bug's Afterlife: Portland artist finds inspiration in croaked critters
by Allen Dammann, Casco Bay Weekly, July 29, 1999, pp 16-17
The first article to present Mike's Real Dead Bugs to the public
"They're scattered along your windowsill. They're mingled with the dust bunnies behind your radiator. They're sprinkled inside your light fixtures. And if you're really unfortunate, they're lying in the shadowy recesses of your cupboard, only inches from your favorite coffee mug. They're dead bugs--and artist Michael Branca wants them."


Senior Artists Show their Stuff
by Kevin Cool, Colby Magazine, May 1996, pp 30-31
Cover article about Colby College graduating artists.
"Some people think these are kind of gross," Branca said in a way that suggested nothing could please him more.

mike{at}mikebranca{dot}com