New York–based artist Zoë Sheehan Saldaña works hard making art that may require a closer look. What is created through painstaking handicraft looks just like the common mass produced item it resembles. Meet the artist and see these incredible works at the Tahoe Gallery at Sierra Nevada College on February 16, from 5-7pm. The exhibition runs through March 8.

There are boxes of strikeable matches that Saldaña has whittled, one by one, from aspen she found near her country house; a bright orange life jacket (it really floats!) that she sewed and stuffed with fungus she grew herself; a bundle of twine she hand-spun from hemp fiber. Recently, the artist even manufactured usable paper towels during a residency at Dieu Donné Papermill in New York using wood pulp that she later ran through a letterpress to get just the right texture. Each towel is a gorgeous handmade ringer for the original and sells for less than twenty bucks—a lot for a paper towel, yes, but a bargain for a real handmade work of art. Why rent, when you can own?

Saldaña was born in Massachusetts in 1973 and currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. She studied at Oberlin College (B.A., 1994), the Rochester Institute of Technology (M.F.A., 1998), and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2000). She has created solo exhibitions in the United States including “Ersatz” at Steve Turner Contemporary (Los Angeles, CA) and “Meanwhile” at Light Work (Syracuse, NY). Saldaña’s work has been presented in group shows at venues such as PS 1/MoMA, Exit Art, and the Silverstein Gallery in New York; the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Texas; Analix Forever in Geneva, Switzerland; the Bischoff/Weiss Gallery in London, England; and the Malmö Kunst Museum in Sweden. In 2009 she was awarded a NYFA Individual Artist Fellowship in Interdisciplinary Work. Saldaña is an Associate Professor at Baruch College/CUNY in New York City.

For more artist information visit www.zoesheehan.com. For Tahoe Gallery information or group tours contact Logan Lape at llape@sierranevada.edu or 775/881.7537. Tahoe Gallery is located in the Prim Library on the Sierra Nevada College campus at 999 Tahoe Boulevard, Incline Village NV 89451. The Gallery is open daily. Check website for exact hours.