Joey Moss mural designed by artist who was ‘inspired by the legacy he left’

After Edmonton icon Joey Moss passed away, it wasn’t long before muralist AJA Louden was moved to create a tribute.

Louden started painting on the free wall near the LRT track, just west of 95 Street, on Sunday. It took just four and a half hours for the mural to come to life.

READ MORE: Edmonton sports legend Joey Moss dies at 57

“I just saw a lot of memorial posts about Joey, just a lot of people who knew Joey telling stories about him.

“I just felt really inspirited by the legacy he left.”

Louden is a full-time muralist and his work can be seen across the province.

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While he didn’t get the chance to meet Moss personally, he’s come to know him better since painting his image.

“One of the really cool things about painting this piece was that after I painted it, a bunch of people have come and shared stories about knowing Joey. Whether it was stories of him in the locker room or just all these different stories about Joey.

“It’s been really cool to experience that and have that shared with me.”

Click to play video 'CFL quarterback Mike Reilly shares memorable story about Joey Moss' CFL quarterback Mike Reilly shares memorable story about Joey Moss

CFL quarterback Mike Reilly shares memorable story about Joey Moss – Oct 27, 2020

Louden said the fact the Moss became a symbol of Edmonton says a lot about the city.

“The hard work, the determination, the commitment — those are the characteristics of people that we should be putting on a pedestal.

“The legacy he left is the legacy we should all want to leave.”

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Read more: Condolences, fond memories pour in for Edmonton sports legend Joey Moss

Louden praised Moss, who had Down syndrome, for the way he approached being a role model.

“It would be a lot of weight to have on your shoulders to be a symbol for a community — any community.

“For Joey to be able to do that with such grace for so long I think was really powerful,” Louden said.

“I hope I can learn some lessons from that. I think all of us can learn some lessons from that.”

Click to play video 'Health Matters: The Joey Moss effect on Down syndrome awareness' Health Matters: The Joey Moss effect on Down syndrome awareness

Health Matters: The Joey Moss effect on Down syndrome awareness – Oct 27, 2020

Louden chose the free wall — located in central Edmonton, accessible from downtown, the new arena and not far from the old Coliseum — for a reason.

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“It’s the only [free wall] in the city right now where it’s a place where any artist like me can come and paint at any time. It allows us to have the creative freedom and the space to create something in public for the whole city to enjoy. I’m really grateful to have a space.

“I wanted to paint this in a public place because the whole city seems to love Joey.”

Read more: Wayne Gretzky reflects on the life, legacy of Joey Moss: ‘He gave parents hope’

As for how Louden thinks Moss would feel about the mural in his honour?

“I don’t know what he’d think. I hope his family gets to see it. I hope he’d be happy.

“For me, it’s just one more rock on the mountain of love that Edmonton is showing Joey Moss.

“He’s really a symbol of the city. In my mind, he became a symbol that was greater than sports… That level of passion is really inspiring.”

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