ARTS IN THE NEWS

Cinema

An abandoned Japanese village has been repopulated with a collection of over 350 dolls. The village, Nagoru, is located on the smallest of the country’s four main islands, Shikoku. Nagoru’s population has been declining rapidly over the years as its inhabitants have died or left for jobs in Osaka or Tokyo. Now the village numbers only a few dozen residents, including filmmaker Ayano Tsukimi. She returned to Nagoru 11 years ago and has since repopulated the village with an army of dolls based on the residents who left. In a new documentary, “The Valley of Dolls,” Tsukimi collaborates with Berlin-based filmmaker to explain her work. She explains that the goal was both to draw new people to the village and recreate the ones who had lived there before. The film is now available to stream on vimeo.com.

Theatre

The nominees for the 2014 Tony Awards were announced this past week. The nominees for Best Play are “Act One,” “All The Way,” “Casa Valentina,” “Mothers and Sons” and “Outside Mullingar.” The nominees for Best Musical are “After Midnight,” “Aladdin,” “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” and “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder.”

Music

The Colorado Symphony orchestra announced this past Tuesday that it will play a series of “cannabis-friendly” fundraising concerts sponsored by the state’s growing marijuana industry. The series will be called “Classically Cannabis: The High Note Series,” and represents a last-ditch effort on the part of the symphony to raise its audience as it struggles with failure to attract younger people and a progressively smaller budget. The concert series is meant to attract a younger, more diverse audience to the symphony and is an attempt on the part of the marijuana-related companies to gain legitimacy through the bastion of high culture, the symphony. The event, notably, is strictly BYOC (bring your own cannabis). No pot will be sold at the concert itself.

Visual Art 

A new artist has broken onto the abstract art scene, with a sold out gallery in Philadelphia, an appearance on the “Today” show and a licensing agreement for his work with Dream Green USA. This notable new artist’s name is Metro Meteor, and he’s a retired racehorse. Metro, age 11, had to retire from his racing career after a series of injuries, but has found new energy in his artistic pursuits. By holding a paintbrush in his mouth and with a little help from his owner, Ron Krajewski, Metro produces abstract works with prominent brushstrokes. He paints every day for about an hour, using only one color per day to prevent smudging. Krajewski adds that Metro’s fiery attitude almost always comes through in his art. Describing Metro’s personality, Krajewski, told the New York Times, “If I call him from the field, he’ll come running, and then he’ll bite me. He’s like the old man in the neighborhood who when you hit the baseball into his yard, he keeps it … He’s a complex horse.”

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