Lost in Learning

In an earlier post here we introduced our semi-adopted daughter from Bulgaria. Not in our wildest dreams could we have imagined, while our contagiously optimistic Eva Koleva was living with us for a few years while getting her education at the University of Utah, that she would return to us 17 years later as a world-reknowned photographer!
To make a long story short, she married our dear friends’ son Adam Timothy and Adam and Eva and had a magical wedding reception in a gorgeous garden (one of our daughters wore a fake snake around her neck all night). After their first child was born they took off for Oxford University where her husband was accepted in the MBA program. As we hugged her goodbye she showed me her little Kodak point and shoot camera and said she was off to take a photography class so she could be a photographer some day. I wished her luck with a wink and a nod and off they went.

Last week she came back to BYU where a 30-piece exhibition of her book Lost in Learning:The Art of Discovery hangs outside the auditorium of the Harold B. Lee Library on the BYU campus until January 30th. The University has also purchased seven large pieces of her work for a permanent exhibition.There she did a lecture on her life growing up under communism and the amazing things that can happen when you think outside the box! Saren, our oldest daughter found Eva while serving a mission in Bulgaria and we are forever grateful for the sunshine she has added to our lives!

The wonderful women responsible for her getting Eva to BYU:

Earlier that morning she mesmerized a hundred middle school students at The McGillis School with her story and photography. Their questions were stellar! Below is the staff and representatives of the University of Utah who invited her to “make their day”!

After a lunch with beloved friends who served as missionaries in Bulgaria and the BYU presentation at 3 o’clock, we dashed to the Leonardo Museum in SLC where she presented her story and beautiful photography again to the Humanities Department from which she graduated at the U of U. It was a delight for everyone present!

Today her work has been exhibited internationally and is included in the collections of The The Smithsonian National Museum of American History, The Library of Congress (Permanent Collection), The British Library, Green Templeton College (Oxford University), The George Eastman House Library and The Victoria Albert Museum (National Art Library) among others.

From her bio we read: “Eva believes that art’s purpose is to empower us in looking beyond the dulling distractions and to focus on our noblest aspirations in life.”

In her debut monograph, Lost in Learning: The Art of Discovery (which won an international prize in Paris this year), Eva has woven this worldview of learning, history and art into a creation which urges us each to pursue our life’s dreams with greater passion.”

Eva’s life personifies her beliefs and core values and most especially permeates the life of her family. A home-schooler extraordinaire of their three beautiful children, she and Adam may be raising the next Einstein or modern-day Di Vinci with their ability to embrace freedom in all its forms!
As she boarded a red-eye that night to re-join her children in New England the next morning, I reflected on what a blessing Eva has been to our family. And as Thanksgiving approaches, we give thanks to Eva who has taught us to see our blessings in a whole new and more appreciative way. Being with Eva is truly is a combination of magic and pure joy! To see her inspiring short video click here or get more information and see some of her photos click here.

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