Explore the wonderful
OCDesigns was founded by Olivia Swapp Christy, daughter of Wylie and Lois Swapp in an effort to bring Wylie’s art to future generations through applying his art to alternative products. The artwork used in these products are from the personal collections of each of his four daughters; Madeline Perry, Shannon Madsen, Lorraine Alatalo and Olivia Christy. We hope you enjoy these in the same spirit of Aloha that Wylie intended and portrayed in his art.
Wylie and his wife Lois fell in love with Hawai’i during World War II. They were married in the La’ie Hawai’i Temple, and after a year-long honeymoon in the South Pacific, permanently moved to the Islands after volunteering to be two of six original Faculty at the newly established Church College of Hawai’i, now known as Brigham Young University -- Hawai’i. Wylie taught at the college for 37 years and is revered for his impact as a lifelong Professor of Art and contributing member of the La’ie community.
Wylie is remembered by La’ie locals for naming the popular Polynesian Cultural Center, several streets in La’ie including, Moana Street (ocean), Hale La'a (House of the Lord), and Naniloa (Long Beautiful) Loop. He selected the University's colors of crimson, gold, and gray, named the school's mascot the Seasiders, the newspaper, Ke Alaka'i (The Leader), gave Hawaiian names to the dormitories (Hale's), and named the school's yearbook, Na Hoa Pono (meaning). He started the first ever Polynesian variety show; the structure of which is still used in almost all other Polynesian performances, and is reflected in PCC’s current Night Show. Wylie was a skilled artist, singer,musician, and dancer, and was known for his high tenor voice and talent as an ukulele, piano, upright bass, and tuba instrumentalist. Wylie taught Ukulele classes at BYUH, and compiled the first book of Polynesian songs with chords for accompanying on the Ukulele.
Throughout his life, Wylie Swapp traveled the world with his wife and four daughters where he often painted depictions of their experiences. He studied art history in France, Belgium, and England; Pre-Colombian and Spanish colonial architecture in Mexico; Asian art studies in Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan; Buddhist, Hindu, and Moslem art in Nepal, India, and Thailand, and similar studies in Italy, Egypt, the Greek Islands, South America, Easter Island, and the South Pacific. While he has traveled and loved many countries around the globe, their art and culture, Wylie’s particular love for Hawai’i and Polynesia is reflected in his work. As a master of watercolor, Swapp has painted hundreds of Hawaiian landscapes, plants, and cultural objects, which are now spread all over the world.
Prints of The Art of Wylie Swapp on display and in action.