Shop Maine Craft presents the work of Ebenezer Akakpo, on view at the Center for Maine Craft from June 4 – July 13, 2022.
Ebenezer Akakpo’s portfolio spans various mediums and processes; when combined with the visual Language symbols or Adinkra symbols from his native Ghana, he presents a unique collection of ideas and creations.
Adinkra are visual symbols that represent proverbs, aphorisms and popular sayings of the Akan culture of Ghana. They serve as a shorthand for communicating deep truths in visual form.
Encouraged by his father, Ebenezer’s foundations in jewelry-making grew to a passion that led him to Le Arti Orafe in Florence, Italy, where he studied stone-setting and jewelry design. While in Italy, Ebenezer discovered the world of computer-aided design and manufacturing and became fascinated by its incredible potential to change jewelry-making in the future. Through this experience he also learned the importance of the symbolism that pays homage to one’s history and culture. The Adinkra symbols represent pieces of his heritage and are also universal to human values; they have been carried with him across the globe, eventually landing in Maine, the place he now calls home.
Ebenezer moved to the US and earned a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Metalsmithing and Jewelry at the Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine, followed by a Masters of Fine Art in Industrial Design at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY. This fusion of technology and modern design is evident in his work today, and unique to his brand: Akakpo Design Group LLC. Founded in Maine in 2017, Akakpo & Co carries a broad variety of jewelry, apparel, and home accessories. A sibling company, Maine Culture Apparel, boasts a collection of vibrant wearables that celebrate Maine’s way of life. He serves as Creative Director at both businesses.
Today, Ebenezer’s legacy in design is expanding to public art. Part of Creative Portland’s Creative Bus Shelter Initiative, in 2020 he designed a colorful exoskeleton bus stop inspired by the Adinkra symbols for hope and friendship. In April 2022 the design won Best Bus stop in America, gaining national recognition for the city of Portland and local arts initiatives. The bus stop sits outside Maine Craft Portland.
A collection of birch panel wall art. More coming soon!
Quote Source: https://www.adinkrasymbols.org/