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‘Make Abbotsford great again’ - artist includes phrase on mural without approval

Abbotsford Downtown Business Association allows unapproved mural to take shape downtown
A mural containing the phrase ‘make Abbotsford great again’ was created without the approval of the Downtown Abbotsford Business Association. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

The artist who created the recently completed Bob Bos mural in downtown Abbotsford has admitted content was used that did not obtain Abbotsford Downtown Business Association approval.

Moser Creative, the Ladner-based company that handled the mural, stated that they did not understand that adding content not approved would lead to issues.

“As this was our first publicly commissioned mural, we now understand and acknowledge that any additional content must obtain approval beforehand (in this circumstance, from the ADBA), they told The News. “We are continuing to work with the ADBA to bring this mural to its final state.”

The mural generated negativity online after a number of social media users pointed out that the phrase ‘make Abbotsford great again’ could be clearly read in text on the art. Many online questioned the appropriateness of the phrase, which is almost identical to the campaign slogan of President Donald Trump.

The mural depicts Bos standing next to a classic car in Downtown Abbotsford and then features writing with the aforementioned phrase that appears to be something Bos wrote. It’s unclear where the text comes from or the context.

It’s unclear who suggested the phrase or even what the unapproved content is, as the ADBA has not yet replied to requests for more information from The News. The artist declined to elaborate when The News asked about which content was not approved and who suggested they include it on the mural.

Information from the artist and from the ADBA on social media seems to indicate the mural will now have changes made to it, but that information has not been confirmed.

“Our intention was never to be political, but instead to honour and celebrate the memory of Bob Bos,” Moser Creative added.

Moser Creative is made up of couple Michael and Erin Moser. According to Michael’s art page, he specializes in airbrushing and brush painting, and he has “unique talent that earns him varied commission work.” The description on his art page seems to contradict the information The News was given that this was their first publicly commissioned mural.

When Moser Creative was initially contacted by The News on Monday, they stated that the mural was not done yet and a meeting was scheduled for Thursday to discuss its completion.

When asked about the fact that a video had been posted by the artist stating the mural was done, Moser Creative chose to end the conversation with The News.

Meanwhile, the ADBA promoted the completion of the mural on Facebook on July 8, with the writing clearly visible.

It’s unclear why the ADBA chose to promote the mural and encourage others to see it considering that the mural contained content that was not approved.

The News has also reached out to Dianne Bos (Bob’s wife), who was closely involved in the mural’s creation but she has not replied to requests for more information.

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Ben Lypka

About the Author: Ben Lypka

I joined the Abbotsford News in 2015.
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