FORT GORDON, Ga. -- From “Look Mom, it’s a picture of you!”; to , “Can you see Post-modern abstract influence in this piece?” Your child may say both of these phrases as they learn art from some of the area’s finest artists.

Professionals within the community and CYSS, (Child, Youth, and School Services,) have come together to make a high level of professional and artistic ability available to the children of service members, civilians, retirees, and others as a part of the CYSS, SKIES program.

The name SKIESUnlimited combines the acronym for “Schools of Knowledge, Inspiration, Exploration & Skills” with the word “Unlimited” for the unlimited learning possibilities this exciting initiative offers Army children and youth. SKIESUnlimited is a part of the Army’s Division of Child, Youth and School Services (CYSS), under the Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation (FMWR).

Two of the newest instructors in the SKIES program are the visual artist, Sala Adenike, and culinary artist, Jennifer Dorn.

Audrey “Sala Adenike” Jeter-Allen is a multi-faceted and colorful artist. She will wow you with her bold personality and have you hanging on her every word. She sings, writes, dances, paints, teaches and learns. She was born in Brooklyn, New York and those sensibilities, tempered with 21 years of living and working in the South have given her a point of view that seems far more global than regional. She has been performing and educating for more than 30 years. And anyone that meets her can tell you that those children fortunate enough to have had classes with her, will likely never forget her.

She is currently the visual arts teacher at the Jessye Norman School of the Arts in Augusta, Ga. She holds a BA Degree in Performing and Visual Arts. As a visual artist, Ms. Jeter-Allen’s paintings have been exhibited at Vassar College, the Medical College of Georgia, Paine College, the Cotton Exchange Museum, the Lucy Laney Museum, NYC Public Schools and many private collections.

I asked Sala what it is that drives her to teach and she replied; “I teach because art, all art, has the power to break down the barriers that divide us and that ultimately enriches the whole human experience.”

I met Jennifer Dorn for the first time in the offices of the Greater Augusta Arts Council. Immediately, I was impressed by her positive attitude. We talked briefly about her history and her background. She shared her personal information and her love of cooking with a constant smile. She is a Georgia native and developed a curiosity for cooking at an early age. When she was too small to reach the countertop, she dragged a step stool into the kitchen and insisted that she stand side by side with her grandmother at the stove. On her grandmother’s step stool, she learned how to stir the pots and how to make soft biscuits and flaky pie crusts. As soon as she was tall enough to reach the counters and stove on her own, she began helping her mother to cook for the family, sometimes creating whole meals for the family on her own.

It wasn’t long before she pursued cooking professionally. First, as a waitress, then a dishwasher, she gradually worked her way up to cold line preparations, prep cook, hot line cook, then moved up to pastry chef and sous chef. While in culinary school, she worked at The Ritz Carleton Buckhead. After graduating from The Culinary School at The Art Institute of Atlanta in 1996, she chose to work in smaller, chef owned restaurants where she could work elbow to elbow with the chef and learn every aspect of the business. Most notably, she worked under Chef Justin Ward at Harvest Restaurant, Chef Sheri Davis at Dish, and Chef Hector Santiago at Pura Vida.

Her curiosity about cooking bloomed into a passion as she grew older and began to look outside the world of professional cooking. “My mother’s generation was raised on food that came out of boxes and cans,” she points out, “and subsequently raised my generation on canned food and frozen dinners. I think there is a whole generation of people out there now who were never really taught how to cook, and who are very eager to learn.”

CYSS, Parent Outreach Director, Kathleen Duncan truly believes in the SKIES program and its benefits to students.

“There are several upcoming programs and events in the works, all designed to expand the knowledge of your child, but learning is more than reading, writing, and arithmetic, a well rounded-student embraces the arts early and hopefully keeps it as a part of their life long learning.”

The SKIES program classes are entirely free to children of deployed active duty members.
You can find out more about the programs and how to enroll by contacting CYSS at (706) 791-4455 or 791-4722, or by visiting the CYSS website at http://www.fortgordon.com/cyss.php.

Page last updated Fri July 8th, 2011 at 00:00