These are fun times for Point Richmond resident Jim DeWitt, who has combined his passions for sailing and painting as the artist-in-residence by the Golden Gate Yacht Club for the 34th America's Cup hosted by San Francisco. The club also made him an honorary member.

The honor was a natural for DeWitt, a longtime maritime artist whose nautical background includes operating a business making sails for Bay Area racing craft and being an award-winning yachtsman in his own right.

A reception for DeWitt and exhibit of his latest work created for the America's Cup will be held from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the Point Richmond Art Collective, 121 Park Place in Point Richmond.

"I don't paint sailboats, I paint the excitement of sailing," said DeWitt, an Oakland native who started out doing drawings of his father's sailboat as a 5-year-old in 1935.

DeWitt later studied at the California College of the Arts and the Los Angeles Art Center.

In the early 1990s, he was named top Marine Artist by the America's Cup Gallery in San Diego.

His new series of oil paintings shows yachts, including the Oracle AC45s, competing on the Bay, often with familiar landmarks in the background.

The reception is free and will include beverages and appetizers.

Details: www.dewittamericascupart.com.

COMPANY TAKES ROOT IN RICHMOND: Nutiva, the organic superfood importer and marketer that moved its headquarters to Richmond this summer, is following through on its promise to be a presence in the community.

The first of a series of fruit tree orchard plantings at area schools was held at the start of this month at Washington Elementary and De Jean Middle schools in Richmond. Plans call for orchards at every public school campus in the immediate area over the next three years.

On Oct. 4, the company held a grand opening reception at its warehouse and office space on West Cutting Boulevard, where Nutiva CEO John Roulac cited the urban agriculture programs already in place and said, "We're really glad to be here in Richmond."

In researching the area before the relocation from Southern California, Roulac said he'd read that groups "want to plant trees, grow more local food, and I said 'Wow, they're into a lot of the things we're into.'"

At the reception, the company partnered with the Richmond Community Foundation in divvying $25,000 in grants to four local groups: Urban Tilth, Richmond Grows, Earth Team and Youth Enrichment Strategies.

This being an election year, the company is also promoting the campaign in favor of Proposition 37, which calls for mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods.

Nutiva is sponsoring free screenings of the 30-minute film "Seeds of Freedom," narrated by Jeremy Irons, at locations around the Bay Area, with the first at 7 p.m. Monday at the142 Throckmorton Theater in Mill Valley.

A screening in Richmond will be held at 6 p.m. Oct. 24 at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, 339 11th St.

Speakers at the screening will include Roulac, Pamm Larry of the GMO labeling campaign and Rebecca Newburn from Richmond Grows.

A screening will also be held at 7 p.m. Nov. 2 at the Brower Center in Berkeley.

Space is limited, and reservations are advised. To reserve a seat, visit www.Nutiva.com/films.

TEDDY BEAR TEA: Tickets are available now for the annual Teddy Bear Tea hosted by Soroptimist International of Richmond from noon to 3 p.m. Nov. 3 at Rockefeller Lodge, 2650 Market St. in San Pablo.

The popular event offers a luncheon of tea, specialty tea sandwiches, desserts and scones. Children's activities include a souvenir photo and frame to decorate, tea party crafts, and a teddy bear to take home.

Attendees are encouraged to wear their favorite tea party attire. There will also be a silent auction, a jewelry and gift boutique and raffle.

Tickets are $30 adults and $15 children under 12, with proceeds benefiting nonprofit groups in West Contra Costa.

For reservations or details, contact Betty Bowser at 510-237-2355.

WEST COUNTY NOTES: The former vacant lot at San Pablo and Tennent avenues in Pinole's Old Town, now rehabilitated and known as the Community Corner, will be dedicated at noon Saturday. Pastry from the Bear Claw will be served.

  • Spokeshop, the bicycle shop and gathering place run by cycling advocacy group Richmond Spokes, is celebrating its one-year anniversary at 5 p.m. Oct. 20 with a gala benefit event, after party and potluck reception. For tickets or details, visit spokeshopanniversary-eorg.eventbrite.com.

  • The Fall Fun Fest at Olinda Elementary, 5855 Olinda Road in El Sobrante, will have games, food and raffle prizes from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the school grounds. "Come meet the teachers and families who helped make Olinda a 2012 California Distinguished School," say the proud organizers.

    Contact Chris Treadway at 510-262-2784 or ctreadway@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/christreadway. Stay up-to-date on West Contra Costa news at IBABuzz.com/westcounty.