Mad Men Art Show celebrates creativity of Atlanta ad pros

MODA exhibition includes iconic vintage ads from Atlanta magazine

Reminiscent of AMC hit series Mad Men, Atlanta was a powerhouse for advertising during the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. The Atlanta Ad Club is celebrating the creativity of that era with the “Mad Men Art Show.” The opening will be at MODA from June 18–19, and then the show will move to the Wild Hope Art Gallery in Alpharetta from June 24–29.

Local ad pros Bob Cargill, Tom Wood, and Rick Anwyl realized that many of their retired colleagues were creating various types of art—painting, sculpture, literature, even video—and decided to organize a show celebrating their work. Sponsored by Buckhead Investment Partners, the event will feature fine art by more than 40 men and women—along with iconic ads, including early promotions for Longhorn Steakhouse and C&S National Bank. Blown up, these images will hang 6 feet wide by 9 feet tall, and guests are encouraged to sign the walls around the artwork. Thirty per cent of sales will go to the Atlanta Ad Club Scholarship Fund.

The show will include eight vintage ads from Atlanta magazine, mostly from the 70s. “We felt like [the Atlanta ads] were good examples of creative work,” says Diane Buffington, Wild Hope Art Gallery owner. “It was representative of the golden age of advertising.”

Industry veteran and event co-chair Guy Tucker remembers advertisements from Atlanta magazine in the 70s and 80s. He recalls ad artists stepping up their game when they were told their work would appear in Atlanta. “There were fewer opportunities to get an audience,” says Tucker. “To get it out there, Atlanta magazine was an excellent way to do it. The quality of the publication added some allure.”