Artist Norm Williams at his downtown art bench

Artist Norm Williams at his downtown art bench

Farm bench returned to Downtown Abbotsford

Eight months after it was mistakenly painted red, the art bench has been restored.

Eight months and $5,000 worth of work has restored one of the Downtown Abbotsford art benches to its original form.

After an accidental coat of red paint was sprayed over it, the antique farm rake piece created by artist Norm Williams is back.

On Thursday morning it was remounted to its cement pad on Essendene Avenue.

“I’ve got to say that the whole downtown business association has been great,” said Williams, who was on hand for the unveiling.

He said the association “bent over backwards” to make it right.

While Williams did not perform the restoration himself – Abbotsford’s Big Rig truck repair and restoration took on the challenge – he was consulted throughout the process.

“It looks pretty good. It’s pretty close,” said Williams.

He said it took months to get all the details correct. Originally created in 2001 and sponsored by the Abbotsford News, the art bench was green, with colour added to create the illusion of rust.

In December, when workers were painting railings and garbage cans in a bright red colour to spruce up downtown, the bench was accidentally included in the process.

The farm bench is not the only downtown art piece to fall victim to error. In July, the Bookworm bench disappeared. Eventually, it was learned the artwork had been thrown out.

The property manager of the mall where the piece was located saw that the wood was rotting and had it hauled off to the garbage dump. He had no idea that it was part of a series or art benches.

“I think now we have to get the bookworm back. I really do. It’s one of those historic pieces that should be here,” said Abbotsford Mayor Bruce Banman, who also attended the unveiling.

Tina Stewart, executive director of the Downtown Abbotsford Business Association (ADBA), agreed, adding that the latest restoration did not cost taxpayers anything.

She said the individual who accidentally painted over the work contributed a “significant” amount to the restoration and the ADBA paid the rest.

She also said more art benches could be coming.

“We are currently looking into a couple of new pieces. One that might symbolize the Berrybeat Festival, which is coming to its 32nd season, and one possibly for the historic downtown car show.”

Just Posted

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Woman’s 100-km birthday marathon from Chilliwack to Abbotsford will benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Dancers from the Sts’ailes First Nation perform the eagle dance at a welcome banner dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 10. “Ey Swayel” is a Halq̓eméylem term translated as ‘a good day.’ (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: ‘A good day’ for Agassiz school as Sts’ailes welcome banner is dedicated

Banner hangs above the school’s entrance, welcoming students, staff and visitors

Missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs was found deceased on Thursday evening (June 17).
Body of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs found

Hobbs was reported missing Monday after leaving his job site in Langley

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Surrey Fire Service battled a dock fire along the Fraser River late Friday night (June 18). It was on Musqueam Drive, near Industrial Road, around 10:45 p.m. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
VIDEO: Fire engulfs pier on Surrey side of the Fraser River

Dock has reportedly been unused for a long time

People in Metro Vancouver can expect to experience a short wave of heat just in time for Father’s Day, according to Environment Canada. (Black Press Media files)
Short-lived heatwave headed for Metro Vancouver this weekend

Temperatures are expected to be up to 10 degrees higher than average Sunday and Monday

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read