Isabelle Kerner, District 7 Candidate — Arts Platform

Candidate: Isabelle Kerner, Candidate for District 7


The flourishing of art has long been recognized as a marker of a prosperous society. While all fields of academia help us better understand the world, no study, statistic, or scientific breakthrough has the power to change and influence minds in the way that art does.

Introduction: While many artists derive their inspiration from those who came before them, I take a different, perhaps even opposite approach. The more I expose myself to creations made by others with greater name recognition, the harder it is for me to objectively interpret the world we live in and create something entirely new. While viewing others creations serves as inspiration to many, it hinders my own. In order to create works and ideas truly innovative and original, I have to garner inspiration from real life experiences.

Background: As an artist with a small business, my perception of the arts may deviate from other candidates with less experience in this field and perhaps many artists as well. What distinguishes art from other subjects and fields of study is that art transcends the lines that divide academic studies of math, science, history, sociology, psychology and economics.

Inspiration: There are three prominent figures that inspired the theoretical framework behind my projects—the first being Sir Isaac Newton, who invented the color wheel, the second being Albert Einstein, who detailed the scientific relationship between color and light, and the third being Steve Jobs, who constantly emphasized how the calligraphy class he took at Reed College forever influenced the complex fonts and typefaces that modern computers have today.

Experience: While I am an artist, I slightly resent the term as I feel it has become conflated with nearly every other mean or method of creation. I call my ‘pieces’ projects because each involves as much scientific research, mathematical calculations, chemistry and construction as the act of marking the surface with a medium.

Perception: Right now, I do not think that the arts reflect the voices and perspectives of my neighborhood. I think this is true for most of Seattle when it comes to housing, transportation, education, equity, economy and culture.

Bike Lanes: The new temporary water barricade bike lanes on 1st Avenue: While I have nothing against protected bike lanes, I cannot stand the colors. While the color may seem minimal, they are ugly and incredibly distracting to those on the road. They look like a construction zone. I actually happen to really like the temporary barricades and would like for them to serve as a cost effective alternative to permanent bike lanes but they need to be painted green—the same shade as the non-protected bike lanes. Not only does the color green imply that biking is sustainable, it also ensures that we preserve aesthetic appeal when designing our streets.

Waste Receptacles: Studies have repeatedly shown that individuals are more likely to litter in areas that have already been littered in. We need brighter, better, persuasive waste bins that are color-coordinated. This solution is evidence based and I did invent a prototype. All it requires is that we pass policy requiring package label companies to either place a colored sticker or print a colored dot on their packaging that corresponds to the section of each of the two bins the item should be disposed in. There is no need to replace the trucks or larger waste bins, they just need a three piece divider insert. Seattle only recycles 10-30% of what we put in our recycling bins. Each bin would have a sliding lid (similar to a parmesan cheese shaker) that would allow the user to dump each section into the appropriate category.

Gravel parks: If these gravel ‘Urban Oasis’ parks must remain gravel, I think we should commission artist to paint murals on the walls and have chalk-art competitions for local artists to participate in say once every month, the prize being a $3-5k city commissioned art piece.

Housing: In my opinion, a lot of this new ‘affordable’ contemporary housing is quite boring in its design. Many look like filing cabinets to me. Further, I support the use of recycled Cargo Containers to quickly develop transitional housing for those on our streets. The sides of these containers could also be used as a canvas for the City to commission local artists to paint murals. We could also even hire residents of these sites that have a background and/or are skilled in the arts as means of earning an income that would help them exit the program with a job and funding that would allow them to afford the upfront costs associated with affordable housing.

Graffiti: If people are going to do graffiti and we can’t seem to stop them, why don’t we designate areas for graffiti? The battery tunnels would have been a nice location. Local graffiti artists could sign up and participate in a similar competition, reserve an area for their graffiti once a month and the winner would be commissioned to paint a mural up to the artist’s discretion as long as it is approved by the city.

Photos: Last, attached are my art pieces. These are several of about 150.They are subject to Copyright under Isabelle Kerner LLC but you do have my permission to post them.