David Bierk was born in Appleton, Minnesota, in 1944 and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He studied at the California College of Arts & Crafts in Oakland, California, and taught art in the Bahamas for several years. He returned to California to study at Humboldt State University in Arcata, where he received an Master of Fine Arts in painting and photography.
Bierk immigrated to Canada in 1972 and took up a teaching position in Peterborough, Ontario. In 1974 he founded Artspace, an artist-run centre, that he directed until 1987, the centre is now located on Aylmer street downtown Peterborough. Following his time as director of the artist run centre, he decided to devote himself full-time pursuing a career as an artist. He quickly established an international reputation for his work.
His work incorporated mixed media as well as oil paint.
In 1998, he was elected a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, and in 2002 awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal.
He lived and painted in Peterborough until his death from leukemia in August 2002.