The Growing Up Green Project
Several of our rooms have been decorated by a group of 8th grade students from the Middle School of the Kennebunks’ Talented Artists Program.
The project partnership began in 2005, when General Manager Tina Hewett-Gordon’s daughter Kyleigh was a student in Mary McCarthy’s art class. When the class looked for a project within the community, Hewett-Gordon stepped forward and offered the class the opportunity to decorate a real hotel room. The class was given a $5,000 budget from the Nonantum Resort and the edict to use environmentally friendly techniques as much as possible.
Students have learned not only artistic and decorating techniques, but they also have learned the fine arts of compromise and working on a budget. They research color palettes, eco-designs, prices, artwork and feasibility of designs. There are field trips to Ikea and Pottery Barn where professional decorators meet with the students and talk about making their dreams rooms a reality. In addition Apple has partnered with the program and podcasts are created that are posted on the Nonantum website as well as in that tell teens about activities in the area.
This project has laid the groundwork for a $200,000 grant The Middle School of The Kennebunks received from Aubrey’s End which built a lab filled with computers and other equipment that will help with the designing process. In addition, the school was named as an Apple Exemplary program by Apple, Inc.
At the end of each school year, The Nonantum holds a reception for students and their families. Parents and Grandparents are always amazed at the talent the young artists display. We are sure you will agree after looking around these rooms, there are lots of future designers right here in the Kennebunks! The plan is for the project to continue until all 109 guest rooms have been redecorated!
I want you to know I deeply appreciate our working relationship and the opportunity you provide to my students. I will look forward to meeting in August to plan our next year!
Experience is the Best Teacher – Nonantum Resort Supports YCCC Design Students
The students of the York County Community College (YCCC) Interior Design class have been busy this past semester with a hands-on interior design project for the Nonantum Resort Hotel in Kennebunkport. The students of Interior Design II created three different interior design plans for a guest room and bath, then presented them to General Manager, Tina Hewett-Gordon, as part of their final project for the fall semester. The students met with Hewett-Gordon at the Nonantum Resort at the beginning of the semester to observe the rooms they were assigned, take measurements and collect the necessary information to begin the project.
Tina Hewett-Gordon gave the students a budget as well as a design direction and requested that green products as well as products made in Maine, New England and in the USA be used. Hewett-Gordon plans to implement elements of the students’ designs in several of the Nonantum Resort’s guest rooms while the resort is closed over the winter. “The designs are fresh, innovative, creative and very thorough! I am excited to implement several of their ideas in our renovations this winter” said Hewett-Gordon.
The instructor, Joan Ludwig, has been teaching Interior Design courses as an adjunce faculty member at YCCC since 2009. She got the idea to approach the Nonantum Resort about doing this class project after observing a similar venture called the Green Project her two daughters were involved in. Since 2005 The Nonantum Resort has offered the Green Project to the Talented Artist Program (TAP) students at the Kennebunk Middle School.
The interior design classes are offered through the Design Technology Department chaired by Tom McGinn. “The Interior Design courses are offered as an elective to supplement the Architectural Design Program here at YCCC”, says McGinn,” but anyone interested in Interior Design can sign up for a class”.
In the spring, the YCCC Interior Design students will be invited back to the Nonantum Resort to view the remodeled guest rooms based on their designs.
** Designs will be utilized in the 2013/2014 property renovations