WTOC Senior Active: Don Kole - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

WTOC Senior Active: Don Kole

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Don Kole said he was born to be a collector, and now he is sharing his most substantial collection with Savannah.

"I got hooked on African art about 20 or 30 years ago," said Kole, the founder of Kole Management in Savannah. "And I've been doing it ever since."

"The Metal Artistry of West Africa" is an exhibit at Armstrong's Fine Arts Gallery, a sampling of the Kole family collection, but Kole chose to display it and have it explained by Armstrong art students because of the significance it holds to other local families, those descended from the 20 to 40 million Africans exported to the Western Hemisphere as slaves.

"They left all their traditions and whatever their culture was behind," said Kole. "And so here we are, five or six or seven generations later, and African-American kids have no understanding or knowledge of what their past was, what the traditions of their ancestors were."

Many have been learning that through Kole's exhibit for the last several weeks, and through the special meaning that matches the beauty of each piece.

"There is not one piece of African art that I own, or that anyone owns, that was done for decorative purposes," said Kole. "Every piece has got a specific purpose. It may be to bring fertility to the village, to the agriculture for good crops, or it may be to protect the home, protect the village.''

The exhibit is the latest form of community involvement for Kole, who continues to work and is also active in a variety of local charities that help the less fortunate.

"It keeps the mind going," he said of maintaining a busy schedule. "It keeps me a little younger than some."

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