2nd Globe

By Tk Published on .

Who knew? Indianapolis agency Young & Laramore has a sister company called 2nd Globe, which specializes in corporate sculpture and installations. It opened in 1995, but, as agency principal David Young notes, he and principal Jeff Laramore, who both work as artist/designers at 2nd Globe, have been doing "2nd Globe-like projects for clients since we began our agency in 1983." Yet the divisions rarely meet and Young, Laramore and 2nd Globe president Paul Knapp take pains to keep it that way; the companies are not even linked on each other's websites. "We have Y&L clients who are also 2nd Globe clients, but most of 2nd Globe's business comes to us from clients who are not advertising prospects," says Young. "People have surprisingly inflexible definitions of what artists do and what agencies do."

Whence the 2nd Globe name? As the website (2ndglobe.com) notes, it's inspired by Shakespeare's famed theater, which functioned as a collaborative partnership, and the site also makes reference to the patronage system of the Renaissance. If this seems a bit highfalutin, Young explains it thus: "Shakespeare considered his plays for the Globe Theatre his commercial work and his sonnets and epic poems to be his true art. We now rank this commercial work as one of the greatest achievements in art. So the Shakespeare allegory is a fun way to challenge the narrow, uptight, self-righteous definitions of contemporary art. If somebody doesn't want to call it art, we're OK with it."

Call it what you will, the work, made in conjunction with a host of artists and fabricators, is impressive. A corporate identity project for Shiel Sexton, a construction firm, features a variety of interior sculptural S's and a massive exterior installation called "Structure Man." An extensive exterior project for the Indiana State Museum, celebrating the state's 92 counties, includes a masklike limestone and bronze sculpture that commemorates an African-American community in Gibson County. A weekend farmer's market in Bloomington, Ind., was transformed into Showers Common, whose details include whimsical weather vanes, an homage to local artists. A renovation of a building for USA Group, a student loan provider, includes 13 cast heads representing the 12 primary arts and sciences, plus technology. Seen above are Literature, complete with typewriter keys, and Architecture.

Though so far most of 2nd Globe's projects are Indiana-based, Young speaks optimistically of "prospects on both coasts," and a Seattle office opened earlier this year. "The Seattle-Portland-Vancouver region has one of the highest education levels, one of youngest populations and is one of the most entrepreneurial areas in the world," says Young. "They also have a recent tradition of public art." Not to mention a few latter-day Medicis.

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