OAF News

Dorian FitzGerald Receives the 2017 Laura Ciruls Painting Award

Toronto, February 1, 2017 - Toronto artist Dorian FitzGerald is the 2017 recipient of the Laura Ciruls Painting Award. The $5,000 award is given annually to recognize an Ontario based mid-career painter.

Hacker-Pschorr Beerhall, Oktoberfest, Munich (2005)
acrylic and caulking on canvas mounted to board,
144 × 216 inches

Dorian FitzGerald makes monumental paintings of materially excessive situations. Past subject matter has included the dining room of Stefano Gabbana’s yacht, the throne room of the Queluz National Palace in Lisbon and an image of Elton John’s sunglasses collection at his estate in Old Windsor, England.

Each of the paintings has been made using acrylic paint and caulking in a slow, precise method that FitzGerald has refined in his studio over several years. FitzGerald’s largest painting to date, “The Hacker-Pschorr Beerhall, Oktoberfest, Munich” (2005), at twelve feet wide by eighteen feet high, took the artist more than three years to complete.

FitzGerald is a 2001 graduate of the Art and Art History Program of the University of Toronto and Sheridan College.

FitzGerald was selected by a jury of visual artists comprising Barry Ace (Ottawa), Rebecca Comber (Holland Centre), Roula Partheniou (Toronto), Julie René de Cotret (Hillsburgh), and Roberto Rosenman (Toronto). The jury members were enthusiastic and unanimous in their selection and stated, “Dorian’s process distinguishes him; it is unique and ambitious. The viewer interacts with the work in two planes at once: abstract and photorealistic. The subject matter documents the markers of wealth and luxury, and the work and its scale mirrors the opulent subject matters.”

The Laura Ciruls Painting Award was established by Laura Ciruls, a professional graphic and web designer, as well as an acrylic and watercolour painter. Through a bequest, Laura set up the Laura Ciruls Painting Award, to recognize artists like herself, who were contributing to the development of painting in Ontario. The Ontario Arts Foundation manages the endowment that funds the award. The Ontario Arts Council administers the nomination and selection process.

Previous recipients of the Laura Ciruls Painting Award include: Jinny Yu (2012), Andrew Rucklidge (2013), Melissa Doherty (2014), Sasha Pierce (2015), and Steven Volpe (2016).


For more information, please contact:

Alan Walker
Executive Director, Ontario Arts Foundation
Tel: (416) 969-7413


Established in 1991, the Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) is passionately committed to building long-term support for the arts in Ontario. In 2016-2017, the OAF paid over $3.0 million in endowment income and $30,000 in awards and scholarships.

For more than 50 years, the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) has played a vital role in promoting and assisting the development of the arts for the enjoyment and benefit of Ontarians. In 2015-2016 the  OAC funded 1,676 individual artists and 1,125 organizations in 209 communities across Ontario for a total of $50.5 million.

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