Her contributions to the intersection of contemporary art and spirituality are evident in her impressive curatorial endeavors as as former Curator of Contemporary Art at The Nelson-Atkins Museum (1998-2018), among which have been Janet Cardiff: Forty-Part Motet, Nick Cave: Property, Bill Viola’s The Raft, Wolfgang Laib: Without Place—Without Time—Without Body, and Shirin Neshat: Turbulent.
Fanning holds a doctorate in art history from the University of Kansas. She has taught art history classes on contemporary art and African art at The University of Kansas, The University of Missouri, and The Kansas City Art Institute. Today, as independent curator, Fanning has curated Life-Altering: Selections from a Kansas City Collection (the Bill and Christy Gautreaux collection) and is currently working on a group show of contemporary Native American art for fall of 2023.
FSA features Leesa Fanning’s Encountering the Spiritual in Contemporary Art under Inspirations.