The story of Leon the Frog written on the stairs of the Social Sciences building at the University of Calgary
Photos: by Riley Brandt
Copyright: University of Calgary 2013

In The Calgary Herald:

Since the 1970s, students, faculty and visitors climbing the stairs of the University of Calgary’s Social Sciences tower were able to gaze into the life of Leon the Frog through a gripping poem depicted on 13 flights of stairs, with each step containing its own line. But on Friday, Leon’s story vanished. After nearly 50 years, the beloved poem was mistakenly painted over as part of a movement to remove graffiti around the University of Calgary campus. It didn’t take long for Ian Kinney, University of Calgary alumnus, to step forward and decide Leon the Frog needed to be brought back home. “This poem is part of what it means to go up the stairs here,” said Kinney. “It was part of the history of the Social Sciences building.”

I will be celebrating Leon, and Ian Kinney’s restoration of the poem, with the creation of a mural with Avril Lopez (MFA candidate, University of Calgary Fine Arts) on the first floor of the Social Sciences stairwell.

More media on “Leon The Frog”‘s restoration:

Iconic “Leon the Frog” poem in Social Sciences tower accidentally painted over” [The Gauntlet]

Leon the Frog Restoration Day sign-up [University of Calgary Faculty of Arts]

University of Calgary to restore historic graffiti poem after painting fiasco” [The Calgary Herald]

Step by step, iconic ‘Leon the Frog’ stairwell poem at U of C to be restored” [CBC News]

University accidentally destroys 50-year-old graffiti poem — but volunteers quickly move to re-paint it” [National Post]

Leon the Frog to rise again” [University of Calgary Faculty of Arts]

U of C to rewrite “Leon the Frog” to incorporate Energizing Eyes High plan” [The Gauntlet – spoof article]

The original text of the “Leon the Frog” poem [The Gauntlet]

2017 text after restoration [The Gauntlet]

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