Nancy Guppy Interviews Sculptor and Artist Todd Jannausch

Nancy Guppy sets sail with artist Todd Jannausch
Nancy Guppy seattle magazine art zone seattle
Nancy Guppy chats up Todd Jannausch

Seattle sculptor and installation artist Todd Jannausch ( has a new solo show, Callus, which runs 11/15–12/21 at Pioneer Square gallery Method ( He’ll also give a gallery talk (11/21 at 6 p.m.).

All City Coffee in Georgetown, a Tuesday morning in July
TODD’S ORDER: 12-ounce wet cappuccino

Nancy Guppy:
For 15 years you were a builder and a shipwright. Do you greet
people with “Ahoy, matey!”?
Todd Jannausch: No.

NG: Does your shipbuilding background influence your art?
TJ: It was a big part of the reason I started in art in the first place. With the past stuff, Gallery (206) [work by 206 local artists embedded in a phone booth] and Small Voids [two-dimensional works by various artists, encased in plexiglass and suspended on street signs and poles], all of those were fabrications—things that I learned while I was building boats, skills I wouldn’t have learned any other way.

NG: Your past work has a collaborative vibe. Did you have to share growing up?
TJ: (Laughs) Yes. I had one brother. And he used to kick my ass a lot. So I had to “share” my toys a lot.

NG: I perceive you as an artist who works outside of the “art system.”
TJ: For a while, I was questioning: What can we do better with art? Who isn’t being included? What limits do galleries have?” Blowing those open a bit. So, outside, yes, but not against.

NG: Give me the elevator pitch for your upcoming solo show.
TJ: It’s about how we interact with inanimate objects in our everyday lives. For me, it’s about the relationship I have with tools, so there’ll be a bunch of altered tools.

NG: One of the works is a bent hammer. Does that piece relate to string theory?
TJ: No. It relates to masculinity.

NG: How do you know when you’re on the right track?
TJ: When I’m really nervous. When I start to feel that tension inside, it means I’m getting closer to a place that I haven’t been before—that’s usually a good sign.

NG: Choose one: money or fame.
TJ: Happiness.

Nancy Guppy showcases Seattle artists on her show, Art Zone (