The Garde Arts Center recently gifted Spark a new lathe for our woodshop. The lathe was donated on behalf of Jim Stidfole an extremely talented woodturner, visual and performing artist, and art activist. The lathe was gifted to commemorate Jim’s life and dedication to the New London art scene.
Stidfole, who passed away in January of 2019, was a New London resident, community activist, supporter of the arts, and personal friend to many at Spark. He was well-regarded for his leadership and involvement in the New London community, and he has enriched the lives of many. Stidfole served on the Board of Directors for Fiddleheads Food Co-op as well as on the Board of Directors for Hygenic Art, Inc. An active volunteer in the community, Stidfole cooked for the New London Homeless Hospitality Center five days a week, was a member of the New London Port Authority, Waterford RTM, and was the past president of Quaker Hill Lions. He truly dedicated his life to helping others, serving as a teacher and mentor for many on an interpersonal level as well as through his career as a drama teacher at various local schools.
Stidfole was also at the heart of saving Hygenic Art from demolition, as well as its expansion to include an outdoor park and performance space. While Stidfole made an unparalleled impact on the New London arts community, he was also a multi-talented artist in his own right -- a painter, woodworker, dramatist, and lighting designer.
With this new addition to our woodshop, Spark is able to expand our woodshop class offerings, specifically, we are now able to teach lathe classes!
Thank you to the Garde Art Center, Jim Stidfole, and of course the wonderful Sherri Stidfole for this donation and for their continuous support of Spark. We are honored to preserve a piece of Jim’s legacy.