TRIBUTES have been paid to a prominent figure on the Cirencester arts scene after he was discovered dead at home.

Police found David Bloomfield on Saturday after concerned family members reported him missing earlier this month.

The 48-year-old owner of The Wonderwall Gallery in Gosditch Street was well known throughout Cirencester and further afield for his passion for art. David opened the gallery in 2003 and had a particular affinity for local artists.

He helped spearhead the Cirencester Smile Campaign a year later, in 2004, when hundreds of schoolchildren from Cirencester and surrounding villages competed in a two week contest to produce the best piece of artwork.

The items were displayed in shop windows and then auctioned off to raise money for Cotswold Care Hospice.

David also helped organise the Cirencester Christmas Arts and Craft Trails with fellow gallery owners from across the town who this week paid tribute to him, and remembered his hard work to establish the town as the art destination for the Cotswolds.

Annie Gould and Tracey Burgoyne (CORR), of New Brewery Arts in Brewery Court, worked with David on the trails and said they had very much valued his work.

"We have worked with David over the past four years to create joint art gallery activities including the popular arts trails," said Annie. "He was always a really supportive member of the group and a real pleasure to work with.

"We valued his contribution to the arts in the town and his calm and positive approach. He will be sadly missed."

Celia Wickham, director of the Wetpaint Gallery in London Road, said David was devoted to his gallery. "He was very conscientious and his gallery was always open," she added.

"He came from a marketing background and set the gallery up from scratch. He came into the art scene later in life but did very, very well.

"Away from the art scene David was really fit and active and had taken part in many half marathons."

Siddington artists Richard and Tessa Webb worked with David last year when he decided to sell Richard's linocut of Cirencester Parish Church. "David loved it because it was the view up Gosditch Street where his gallery is," said Tessa.

"He was so enthusiastic about the local art scene and understood the need for us all to collaborate to make our town a centre for the arts and crafts in the UK. From the artist's point of view, he was an absolute pleasure to do business with.

"He will be greatly missed by the artistic community here in Cirencester and our condolences go to his close friends and family at this very difficult time."

The circumstances surrounding David's death are still unclear but police are not treating it as suspicious.

David's inquest was due to be opened by Gloucestershire coroners on Wednesday afternoon as the Standard went to press.

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