DeWitt mural a welcome sight in Richmond

DeWitt mural a welcome sight in Richmond

Over the last few weeks, a small group of artists have been hard at work recreating the art of beloved local artist Jim DeWitt. Carefully following a gridded outline to produce a giant-sized replica of DeWitt's work, which now graces the wall of the newly constructed Duke Realty Light Industrial building on West Cutting Boulevard.

The Bay Area Mural Program, a non-profit organization that facilitates community-based public art, is responsible for the sizeable art, which brings vivid colors and imagery to an area with a decidedly industrial feel.

The BAMP organization works with over 30 professional bay area artists to engage the community and design and paint murals all throughout the Bay Area and is also responsible for the mural adorning the Greater Richmond Interfaith Program building on 22nd Street.

Artist from BAMP working on the mural on West Cutting Boulevard on November 8, 2023. Photos/Linda Hemmila

“BAMP is super honored to pay tribute to the great late Richmond, California-based artist Jim Dewitt. This mural wall faces the San Pablo Yacht Club, where the first EL Toro was built, so it is only fitting to have this amazing rendition of Jim’s painting there,” said BAMP Executive Director Andre Jahmora, Lead Artist on this project.

El Toro Plaque at San Pablo Yacht Club.

Jahmora worked alongside artists Zoe Boston and Derrick Shavers to create the mural, which was completed in a relatively short time frame for such a large work.

"We couldn't have done it without the support and blessings of Sallie and Pam DeWitt," Jahmora said.

Dedicated to facilitating and creating public art, BAMP turns bare, blighted walls into artistic gateways to the community's surrounding environment.

"Most cities in the Bay Area have a city ordinance that requires new buildings to contribute one percent of their construction fee to public art, something that enhances the look and feel of city neighborhoods," Jahmora said.

Born in Oakland in 1930, artist DeWitt, who passed away last November at the age of 92, was a sailing champion and well-known as a racer, artist, and sailmaker. DeWitt's sail-making business and art studio were both located in Richmond, making him an important part of the community for decades.

"We see each mural as an opportunity to partner with unique creative perspectives to the new community vision," Jahmora said of the mural.

St Francis Yacht Club Celebrates Richmond’s DeWitt
St. Francis Yacht Club is hosting an event honoring the life of Richmond artist Jim Dewitt which includes a luncheon and “celebration of a life well sailed and painted.” DeWitt passed away in November at the age of 92. Well-known in the sailing world as a racer, artist, and sailmaker,
Galleries — Marine Artist Jim DeWitt

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