• Pete McKee’s latest exhibition This Class Works comes to a triumphant close after sell-out run in Sheffield
• 10,300 visitors came to the exhibition celebrating the working class over 16 days
• Prints of the McKee work featured are available from Thursday 2 August at www.petemckee.com
Sheffield artist Pete McKee’s exhibition This Class Works has ended after a 16-day sell out run, with 10,300 visitors to the event at an old spring factory on Burton Road in Sheffield.
The exhibition brought together Pete’s own work, along with other artists he invited to show the pride and resourcefulness of Britain’s working class, its work ethic and its sense of community, and sets out to share that spirit with today’s aspirational younger generation. It was also his first exhibition since a life-saving liver transplant last year.
The additional artists included Anthony Bennett, JB Barrington, Jo Peel, Jon McClure, Martyn Ware, Maxine Peake, Natasha Bright, Sarah Jane Palmer and Tish Murtha, whose work was shown alongside Pete’s.
In addition to these artists Pete invited several designers and illustrators to complete a special brief for the exhibition called ‘The Department of Wealth and Privilege’. Those included in this special project were: Cafeteria, Dust, Field, Nick Bax, Jon Cannon, Kid Acne, Patrick Murphy, Nick Deakin and Peter & Paul, who were tasked with creating a print that subverted the elite’s anti-working-class view point.
There was a heartwarming reception to the exhibition from visitors, with an outpouring of appreciation of the work on social media, often from visitors that had never been to an art exhibition before.
@nelsonjd76, said on Twitter: @PeteMcKee I salute you sir. You, your team and collaborators have put on a brilliant life affirming exhibition. I even cried in a gallery for the first time. Emotional #McKee #Sheffield #ThisClassWorks #MustSee
@TommyOwl87, also on Twitter, said: Just a big hand to @PeteMcKee for his newest exhibition. Never been to an art gallery before, but it was funny, poignant and brought childhood memories flooding back. Loved it pal. #thisclassworks
In the run up to the exhibition, Pete also partnered with the S2 Food Poverty Network, a network of food banks in Sheffield. He set up a pop-up donation centre and gave away soup cans with a limited-edition Pete McKee design as a thank you for food donations to the network.
Prints of all Pete’s pieces from the exhibition will be available to purchase from his website, www.petemckee.com from Thursday 2 August.
Pete McKee said of the exhibition:
“To say I’ve been totally blown away by the response to ‘This Class Works’ is an understatement. I could never have dreamed the show would have been so well received and attended. I’m so proud that for some this was their first time at an art exhibition. It’s been a very emotional journey creating this and I’ve definitely worn my heart on my sleeve for the work I’ve created and those that saw the work really responded and connected with it.
I’m so grateful to all the artists, poets, writers, photographers and creatives that contributed to the show and made it an exhibition with depth and heart and was accessible to all”