John Nava studied art at UC Santa Barbara and did his graduate work in Florence, Italy. His work is found in numerous private, corporate and public collections throughout the United States, Europe and Japan including the National Museum of American Art in Washington D.C. His work is represented in such publications as Post-Modernism: The
New Classicism in Art and Architecture (Rizzoli, New York) by Charles Jencks who coined the term "post-modernism" and American Realism (Abrams, New York) by Edward Lucie Smith, a comprehensive history of realist painting in the United States. Nava has done large-scale public works including a 45′ wide mural for the Tokyo Grain Exchange in Tokyo, Japan and a 56′ wide fountain sculpture at 100 Brand Blvd. in Glendale, California. In 1998 he was commissioned by the Seattle Symphony to paint a life-size double portrait of Jack and Rebecca Benaroya for Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle. In 1999 Nava was commissioned by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to create three major cycles of tapestries for the new Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. The primary cycle of 25 tapestries depict The Communion of Saints and comprise 136 saints from all parts of the world. The tapestries were woven in Belgium and range in size from 18′ to 48′ high with figures averaging 10′ tall. Our Lady of the Angels, the largest Catholic cathedral in the United States, opened in September of 2002. In 2003 Nava's tapestries for the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels won the National Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art and Architecture (IFRAA) Design Honor Award for Visual Art.