Lumberton high school senior Kyia Croft and her audio/video teacher, Eric Adams, both agree that creating art is an essential part of their personalities.
Adams says that in his six years of teaching, he’s learned to set aside part of his time to feed that creativity.
“I’ve been very lucky to, over the past few years, kind of cultivate a student group who is not just interested in making work for projects, but also doing things outside of school and creating things within our local community,” Adams said.
That’s showcased dramatically in the charcoal animation video Croft made for Adams’ musical collaboration with the group Little Mazarn.
“This was my first experience with stop motion, my first experience with animation, one of my first experiences with charcoal, really. So there were a lot of learning curves in making it,” Croft said.
She says she was about to start a new assignment for class and originally considered creating just a few seconds of a Claymation video. But the project expanded when Adams introduced her to the work of charcoal animator William Kentridge.
“I watched all of his videos and I kind of, like, learned the processes of it,” Croft said.
She says she listened to the music incessantly and drew on experiences from her childhood.
“I grew up in in a smaller Tennessee town on like a little farm with my grandparents,” Croft said. “So a lot of [the music] kind of took me back to my roots about like the connections in a small town and how one thing throughout the video, the Honey Island General Store, the store kind of provides whatever you need, like it was mentioned in the song. And so it was kind of interesting to explore the idea of how just a location, just like an establishment, could be so essential to a person’s upbringing and formation or moments in their lives.”