From the synth-heavy thump of Human League’s Don’t You Want Me Baby blaring in the background, to the 2p bus which transported fans there – it was clear from the outset that Pete McKee’s latest exhibition would be distinctly Sheffield.
The bequiffed artist welcomed 3,000 fans to The Joy of Sheff, a one-day display of 35 new paintings and other artwork at The Blue Shed studio.
Around 700 people took advantage of the ’60s double decker which transported art-lovers to and from the exhibition space in exchange for a humble tuppence.
Work such as Stubbed Toe at Millhouses Park and Dinner Tokens and Welfare Clobber offered the glimpses into Sheffield life which have made McKee hugely popular with city residents.
The aptly-titled Bounce, depicting a triumphant father and son celebrating a Sheffield Wednesday win, was one such McKee offering.
While the work was inspired by the Owls, it is bound to have struck a chord with anyone who knows the look of relief on a mother’s face when dad sits down to tea after a Saturday win.
And a jewel-encrusted bottle of Sheffield’s finest Henderson’s Relish – the poor man’s version of Damien Hirst’s diamond-encrusted skull – was subject to a silent auction on the day.
Lots of keen bidders submitted vast sums to add sparkle to their kitchen cupboard, but the winning bid came in at £810.
Proceeds will be donated to the Artfelt project run by Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity.
Pete said: “It was a fantastic day, I’ve never experienced a turnout like it at any of my exhibitions. It was overwhelming.
“I hope everyone left with a big smile on their face.”
Superfan Russell Stanniland, aged 26, of Parson Cross, said: “I thought it was magnificent. Pete makes art accessible to everyone.
“I bet everyone could relate to at least one piece.
“He ticks all the boxes.”