OAF News

Artist Alex Bierk awarded the Laura Ciruls Painting Award

Toronto, June 10, 2020 - Peterborough artist, Alex Bierk is this year’s recipient of the Laura Ciruls Painting Award. The $5,000 award is given annually to recognize an Ontario based mid-career painter.

About Alex Bierk

Alex Bierk has presented his works internationally in exhibitions in Copenhagen, Paris and Stockholm, as well as at numerous art fairs including UNTITLED (New York), Art Toronto, Scope (Miami), Papier 14 (Montreal) and Art Southampton. His work is held in the collections of the Royal Bank of Canada, TD Bank and the Art Gallery of Peterborough along with many private collections. In 2013, he was a finalist for the Kingston Prize, a national biannual portrait competition, and is the recipient of grants from the Toronto and Ontario Arts Councils, as well as the Canada Council for the Arts. Articles on Bierk’s exhibitions have been featured in The Toronto Star, Canadian Art Magazine and Border Crossings magazine. Alex Bierk lives and works in Peterborough, Ontario.

Bierk’s labour-intensive works combine personal history with wider economic and social contexts, resulting in paintings that express the complexities of emotional and lived realities.

About the Award

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 is responsible for the selection process. The award recipient is selected through the Ontario Arts Council’s peer assessment process from the applicants to one of the two annual Ontario Arts Council Visual Arts Creation Projects (Mid-career category) program deadlines.

Previous award winners include Daniel Hutchinson (2018), Dorian FitzGerald (2017), and Steven Volpe (2016). See the full list of previous recipients.

"Davy, looking up”, oil on linen, over wood panel, 9 x 12 inches, 2018


 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 2019-2020, the OAF paid over $4.25 million in endowment income and $270,000 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 2018-2019 the Ontario Arts Council invested $61.1 million in 228 communities across Ontario through 2,252 grants to individual artists and 1,424 grants to organizations. 

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