By Almeda Girod
Enyo Kowalski loved art even as a toddler when she drew pictures on the family’s living room walls. She grew up in Taiwan as the second of six children. Her father was a revered physician in the community, and a number of family members followed in his footsteps. Five of the six children and their parents immigrated to the U.S.
In 1958 after completing undergraduate work, Enyo came to the U.S. and earned graduate degrees in education from the University of Hartford and fine arts from University of North Carolina. She then returned to Connecticut to teach art in the public-school system.
She met Edward at a summer institute in New Jersey established by the National Defense Education Act to encourage teachers of Chinese and Japanese. Their affection for each other deepened over the subsequent summer when the program was repeated.
After her return to Connecticut, Enyo established an Oriental Language Center in Avon that led to a successful 10-week study program traveling to Japan in the summer of 1965.
A four-year long-distance courtship ended in marriage to Edward, who had pursued Asian studies and was passionate about Chinese philosophy. Edward’s job with the State Department took the family to Hong Kong, Japan, and Thailand before the family settled in Chantilly, Va. Enyo worked with the CIA in media productions, which provided a wonderful opportunity for her to use different art forms.
After retirement, Edward and Enyo volunteered with Mother Teresa missions located in D.C. that included mural paintings and handling supplies as well as donating funds.
Enyo moved to Hunter Glen in 2009, five years after Edward’s death, and has kept busy with ping-pong, exercise, guitar, birding, ceramics, wood shop and creating art in the studio in her apartment.Her two children and three grandchildren live nearby and often are the subject of her portraits.
Enyo’s art is displayed with the traveling art exhibit sponsored by the Arts Council.