Oceanic Arts

Visit: 9 Apr 2022

Kelly Reilly (Hiphipahula) and I gave a presentation here during one of the OA celebration nights in advance of its closing. I came back afterwards for one of the other nights to bartend outside with Carey Ysais, representing Kahuna Tiki TU. Before this, I had probably been to Oceanic Arts dozens if not hundreds of times just to shop (mostly window shopping). It was always a favorite activity to hit Oceanic Arts and King Richard's Antique Center before having lunch and possibly hitting Bahooka's on the way back home.

Tiki Bar:

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Oceanic Arts Store – Whittier, California, United States

Oceanic Arts was a major contributor to tiki culture since its opening on June 25th, 1956, when it was opened by LeRoy Schmaltz and Bob Van Oosting.

Bob and LeRoy have provided carvings, decorations, signage, light fixtures, and all the outfitting needed for a tiki location to nearly all of the major spots, including Disney. Oceanic Arts served as a Home Depot of sorts for the tikiphile.

The store was closed for good on November 24th, 2021.

Bob and LeRoy went out on a triumphant note by announcing the publication of a book chronicling their much beloved business on the same day. This book, authored by Jordan Reichek and published by Peekaboo Gallery, was issued in a regular or slipcover edition. This was accompanied by 2 rounds of auctions and accompanying auction books. Together, these books give a very thorough overview of the work produced by Oceanic Arts.

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Date Created
9 Apr 2022
Date Updated
3 Jan 2023
Trader Tom
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