Ebenezer Akakpo, 41, blends his design aesthetic with his Ghanaian heritage to produce art with a purpose.

Akakpo uses his talent to raise money for charitable projects. Sales of the jewelry and other accessories he makes in his South Portland studio support a project in Ghana that uses ultraviolet technology to purify water.

He also holds down a day job as an IT support specialist at the Maine Turnpike Authority.

Akakpo received a bachelor’s of fine arts degree from Maine College of Art in metalsmithing and jewelry, and then a master’s degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

On Sunday, his jewelry and metalwork were part of a hair and fashion show in Portland to raise money for Women’s Initiatives that Strengthen and Empower, a nonprofit that supports economic independence for women in Zambia.

What he loves about his art is “the idea of having a thought and being able to make that thought tangible. Having people see it,” he said.

“There is always a challenge and you have to make it work, to use your technique to get the result that you want.”

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