Border Art Residency // El Paso, TX // 2021

I’ve been selected for the Border Art Residency (El Paso, TX) where I’ll be living and working in the US/MEX borderlands. This work involves reclaiming the coyote identity, working with Mexican artisans from Juarez, and collaborating with local musicians on a contemporary corrido to tell an intimate story of Americaña identity in the borderlands. The project, Coyote Ballad, will be live in May.

More about traditional corridos:

Mexican corridos are stories told in song. The word comes from corridos, the Spanish verb meaning to run, and indicates that there is to be a running narrative.

The corrido is a type of Mexican ballad that tells dramatic stories drawn from the imagination and real life of the communities that live along the Mexican-American border.

Project press:

Colorado Artist Selected for Border Arts Residency (El Paso Times)


Me gusta Americaña y Americaña gusta de Mí // 2020-2022

A decade ago, M12 Studio designed a humorous tribute to the famous work by Joseph Beuys: I Like America and America Likes Me. Commissioned for a Spanish edition design, our version is not a direct translation of M12’s cult-favorite t-shirt, but a way to use invented language to broaden the ever-evolving concept of what we identify as ‘American.’

>> Get a t-shirt with our design! <<

This is a project of Americaña – current collaborators include Trent Segura and Carissa Samaniego.


The Circle // Gyonggi-do, S. Korea // 2021

My drawings and video are included in the group exhibition, The Circle, at the Czong Institute for Contemporary Art Museum, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, in September 2021. This exhibition is curated by Leejin Kim, PhD.


Hallelujah // Gallery Factory, Minneapolis, MN // 2021

New work coming to Minneapolis in 2021:

After a year in quarantine exploring the hyper-local, this project is meant to encourage the same exploration of neighbors in Northeast Minneapolis. It includes a print publication of a 26-pg field guide of regional birds illustrated by my 2-yr old daughter and an outdoor sound installation. The audio component is a cacophony of bird song tuned to Leonard Cohen’s omnipresent hymn, Hallelujah.


The Spirit in the Flame // Denver, CO // 2019

Solo exhibition at Union Hall, Denver, CO

From Arielle Meyers, Chief Curator:

“Carissa Samaniego weaves together a story that is set in the landscape of the Southwest and connected to indigenous knowledge, Catholic traditions, and the tools of modern American warfare. She presents her experiences of these borderlands to the viewer through object portraits that utilize natural materials such as mulberry tree branches, petrified wood, volcanic rocks, and trinitite (the light green, glassy, slightly radioactive material left on the desert floor as a result of plutonium-based nuclear bomb testing). She also uses handmade stained glass and mass-produced miniatures of the Virgin of Guadalupe, St. Francis, and Jesus Christ. Samaniego’s work references personal narratives as well as historical ones: the story of the Virgin of Guadalupe’s first appearance in 1531 is interwoven with her childhood memories of the apparition of the Virgin in her Grandmother’s mulberry tree. Her grandmother also witnessed the atomic bomb Trinity’s mushroom cloud in 1945 at her family’s field in Hatch, New Mexico. The beauty, mystery, and toxicity of the Southern New Mexican landscape is remembered through family stories and retold as enigmatic objects both made and collected by the artist.”

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