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19 Stunning Staircases Transformed by Artists Around the World

colorful stair art

The 16th Avenue Steps by Aileen Barr and Colette Crutcher
San Francisco, California
Photo source: Yellofish

Street art is best known as murals that cover entire walls—and sometimes even the buildings themselves. It has the incredible ability to turn the world into an outdoor gallery, but there's one surface that's often ignored: staircases. When painted, public stair art is a stunning and unexpected canvas for portraits, geometric patterns, and intricate mosaics. Each rise of a step is one fraction of a larger image. When viewed at the base of the staircase, the individual elements come together for an awe-inspiring effect.

Just as artists have assistance when painting big murals, these types of stair projects are often completed through with the help of many people. The 16th Avenue Tiled Steps in San Francisco, for instance, was a community effort. Ceramist Aileen Barr and mosaic artist Colette Crutcher worked with about 300 volunteers over a two-and-a-half year period to complete their project. Likewise, a group of artists called Dihzahyners formed a project called Paint Up! and used their creative abilities to beautify staircases in Beirut, Lebanon, one step at a time.

Here are 18 of the most stunning steps from around the world.

colorful stair art

Snake of Light by Xomatok
Lima, Peru

colorful stair art

Staircase in Seoul, South Korea
Photo credit: Kevin Lowry

colorful stair art

Philadelphia Museum of Art
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Photo credit: rleigh

colorful stair art

Paint-splattered steps at Zacheta Gallery by Leon Tarasewicz
Warszawa, Poland

colorful stair art

Scala by Horst Glasker
Wuppertal, Germany

colorful stair art

Yarn-bombed stairs by Magda Sayeg

colorful stair art

Patterned stairs by Dihzahyners
Beirut, Lebanon

colorful stair art

Tehran, Iran
Photo credit: My Persian-Speaking Friends

colorful stair art

Patterned stairs by Dihzahyners
Beirut, Lebanon

colorful stair art

Piano steps
Valparaíso, Chile
Photo credit: Jean-Baptiste Yunès

colorful stair art

Stairs of Peace by Jood Voluntary Team
Syria

colorful stair art

Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte
Caltagirone, Sicily
Photo credit: Andrea Annaloro

colorful stair art

Anamorphic stairs by ZAG & SìA
Paris, France

colorful stair art

Patterned stairs by Dihzahyners
Beirut, Lebanon

colorful stair art

Holsteiner Treppe by Professor Horst Gläsker
Wuppertal, Germany
Photo credit: Frizztext

colorful stair art

Origami steps by Mademoiselle Maurice
Angers, France

colorful stair art

Women are Heroes by JR
Brazil

colorful stair art

Musical theater staircase
Seoul, South Korea
Photo credit: Kimhwan SEOULIST

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