Special Project: Tea with the Queens

Tea with the Queens

featuring David Bierk’s “Portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II”

June 7 – 29, 2023

Join us for a special exhibition as we share the late David Bierk’s “Portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II” for the first time in its new home at the Art Gallery of Peterborough.

Made for the Peterborough Memorial Centre, the painting was installed on January 9, 1980, where it presided over countless sports games, concerts, and events until the State Funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on September 19, 2022. The painting was commissioned by the Major Bennett Chapter of the IODE for the Memorial Centre to commemorate the group’s 60th anniversary with matching funds from a Wintario Grant.

David Bierk was selected from an illustrious list of potential artists by jurors Illi-Maria Tamplin and Zoltan Temesy, then Director and Chair of the Board of the AGP. The original commissioning documents, which are held at Trent Valley Archives, state that if the painting ever needed to be removed it should be donated to the Art Gallery of Peterborough, or the Peterborough Public Library, whichever was preferred. The Art Gallery of Peterborough acquired the painting for the Permanent Collection earlier this year.

“Growing up, I saw my dad’s massive painting of the Queen at Pete’s games, high in the Memorial Centre. My brother Zac told me how players tried to aim for it with pucks during practice. I find it special how the painting intersects my dad’s love of sports and his life as an artist, and how it hung over my brother Zac’s head in goal as he played for the Petes. The public reacted strongly when it was taken down. I’m so happy that it ended up in the collection of the Art Gallery of Peterborough to be kept safe and continue to live on in our community.” – City Councillor, Alex Bierk




Opening Reception: June 7, 2023 from 7:00 – 9:00 pm



Afternoon Tea with the Queens

Accompanying this exhibition is a series of afternoon tea sittings in the main gallery. Hosted by local drag performers Betty Baker and Sahira Q, and in the presence of portraits of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, these afternoon teas will treat you like royalty.


portrait of Betty Baker looking directly at the camera in a white dress covered in splotches of magenta and cyan paint. She holds up a painting in the same colours that features her face and the words: Betty Baker       portrait of drag Queen Sahira Q in an orange mesh top posing with a windex bottle while washing a window, looking at the camera

The gallery is open Wednesday to Sunday from 11 am - 5 pm. Admission is always free, however donations in support of AGP programming are always appreciated.

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