And now for something completely different…an Athens, OH group has taken on a project to remove the negative connotations that an outdoor wooden staircase has by giving it new life. But, the question remains, is it art?

In the classic 1988 movie “Big,” one of the most memorable scenes features Tom Hanks dancing up and down a set of toy piano keys laid out across the floor, plunking out notes with each step.

That’s one of local artist Jerod Black’s favorite parts, and that inspired a unique Athens landmark that prompted many social media posts – the “piano stairs” that are nestled in a patch of trees parallel to Depot Street, leading to West Washington Street near the Athens Middle School.

Black, 38, started a local group called Guardian Aliens, which got it’s name from Black’s belief that because everyone comes from different places – he’s a California native – we are all aliens at some point in our lives. He also stressed that though he is very spiritual, he’s not religious.

“Part of this is called the ‘rape stairs’ and the ‘heroin wall,’ and all these bad connotations,” Black said of the area where the piano stairs are located, adding that the art will help make the area safer in addition to being visually appealing. “…It’s a place where people are going to be busy coming to where you can’t do shady s*** here because people are looking at the art. Chase the (perpetrators) into the shadows. Cockroaches will always run from the light, so turn on some light in this (expletive).”

read more at athensnews.com