Zach Gilliland

Azul Reef
Stainless Steel
26 x 52 x 18 in

About the Artist

Zach Gilliland is a sculptor, who from an early age, had the ability to draw with both hands and kick with both feet.  After serving in the Air Force, his passion for soccer led him into the NCAA, where he played for Newberry College in Newberry, SC.  After soccer practice one night, Zach stumbled into the ceramics studio with a teammate and “re-found” his passion for making art.  After earning his Studio Art Degree with a focus in Ceramics from Newberry, Gilliland moved to Sarasota in 2009 where he fell in love with the supportive art community and the opportunity to contribute to the growing visual art scene.  Zach gained professional experience at Art Center Sarasota as the Exhibitions Coordinator and at New College of Florida as a Studio Technician.  In 2016 Zach opened his own art handling company, Artwork Installation LLC, and creates his work full time.  Zach is represented by Chasen Galleries in Sarasota and you can find his work in public and private collections throughout the Southeast. 


Artist Statement

I am constantly tinkering in the studio, trying new things, making new forms, honing my skills and dreaming up the impossible.  When I have an idea, I try it.   The key, for me, is to simply be working.  As Picasso said, “inspiration exists but it has to find you working”.  


For several years now I have been utilizing scraps and disregarded materials to produce my projects.  The scraps already have an energy from the previous “user” and that eases my mind while creating, adding an indirect collaborative element to my process.  It helps eliminate the idea that I am projecting my own agenda on the material.  I search for the simple and the organic as a jumping off point.  Then I find the subtle complexities that give the piece depth. Once a project begins to take shape I send it to the moon and back, building it up and ripping it back apart.  This process is extremely important for me to filter out unnecessary information. 


My work appears simple at first glance, but upon further inspection questions begin to arise. Like, how was that shape made? Why were those materials juxtaposed and what might it represent? How is that balancing there? That's where, I feel, the magic lies.  My ultimate goal is to pull the viewer in from a distance, keep them looking up close and then leave them wondering when they turn away. 

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