Big Platter by John Nava Video by John Treur and Friday Gretchen

The Museum of Ventura County is pleased to unveil the latest acquisition, John Nava’s Big Platter. A gift of Laura and William Peck, the 27-foot-long tapestry spans the north wall inside the Martha K. and Martin V. Pavilion, where numerous events, pop-up exhibits, and activities occur year-round.

“There is a long tradition in art of the Arcadian image — Arcadia as the setting of a harmonious image of people within nature,” explains John Nava. “For me Seuratʼs famous Grande Jatte is a modern (19th century) version of this image: a quiet, sunlit shore with the bourgeoisie of Paris taking the place of the idealized shepherds who populate the Arcadian paintings of Poussin. Big Platter (grande jatte translates as big platter or bowl) makes the Ventura Promenade the setting for my version of this image. The Promenade near Surfers Point is, in fact, a magnetic gathering place for our community — a place where all sorts come to stroll, to surf, to rest in the sun. We find ourselves immersed in this beautiful nexus of shore, sea and sky completing the composition. I wanted to make Venturaʼs own Arcadian image.”

John Nava studied art at UC Santa Barbara under Howard Warshaw 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 his creation of the Communion of the Saints tapestries for the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles.

On June 5, the Museum of Ventura County unveiled and celebrated the acquisition during a private unveiling. Those invited were the first to see the magnificent piece of work on display. Big Platter will remain on display in the Pavilion for years to come.

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