Bethany Bruner, News Editor

Flowers and paintings were placed outside Bill’s Art Store on Wednesday after local residents learned of owner Bill Berry’s death. (ANDREW BRAY | The Miami Student)

The Miami Student received word on Wednesday that Bill Berry, the owner of Bill’s Art Store located on High Street had passed away.

Berry worked extensively with the Oxford Community Arts Center and local artists while providing art supplies for Miami University art, architecture and graphic design students and Oxford residents.

Bill’s Art Store had been open for more than three decades. Sidewalk art, paintings and flowers had created a small memorial to Berry outside. Patrons of the store left messages reading “You were an amazing person” and “You will be missed, RIP Bill.”

City of Oxford Economic Development Director Alan Kyger said Bill’s Art Store had been in business on High Street for as long as he could remember.

“He’s been one of the long-term business patrons of our uptown district,” Kyger said. “His store has always been a very stable and consistent presence providing a much needed product. We need retail stores like what he offered uptown.”

An email from Art Department Administrative Assistant Jennifer Fox, distributed to all art majors, said a decision on the store’s future would be made soon. A sign on the door of Bill’s Art Shop said the store would remain closed through Friday, April 16. Kyger said he had not heard any definite plans for the store to remain open or to shut its doors.

The email from Fox said Berry had been found unresponsive Tuesday morning by a family member at his home. No cause of death has been determined at this time.