Advertising today is a reactive and cynical affair, mostly tongue-in-cheek, that tries super hard to relate to you. Note the rush of ads a couple months ago when everyone figured out the economy was going to shit: Advertisers suddenly assured you that they knew you worked hard for your money; value got important, and MPGs became the main selling point in a vehicle. This is a different world for advertisers, who are no longer trying to sell you a dream so much as beg you to maintain your current lifestyle with fewer gas-ups. There is definitely a certain nostalgia and artistic appeal to the old-school ads, with their optimistic neon signs heralding products as a way to attain the American Dream. Rosy-cheeked girls and "households of the future" were a staple of a design aesthetic that has been lost in these pessimistic times. What Is It? Where'd You Get It? Can I Have It? at the Webb Gallery, 209 W. Franklin St. in Waxahachie, is a throwback to the golden age of advertising and design, displaying a plethora of old ads and signs. Immerse yourself in the cheerful designs and cheesy slogans and then pick up a soda in quaint downtown before you have to gas up the car and come back to reality. The exhibit runs through November 2 and is open from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Visit webbartgallery.com.
Saturdays, Sundays, 1-5 p.m. Starts: Aug. 9. Continues through Nov. 2, 2008