“There was a line out the door this morning,” Tammy Ortegon said as she handed out small glossy posters of Naz Reid and Kevin Garnett to a stream of people coming into her store Wednesday morning.

Ortegon owns ColorWheel Gallery on 46th Street in Tangletown, where hundreds of people have picked up free Timberwolves art designed and printed by Adam Johnson, a local educator and artist. Johnson is also selling yard signs with his Naz Reid art but only to cover the cost of printing, he repeated to people in ColorWheel Gallery.

“I'm trying to keep it sustainable,” Johnson said. “People are like, stop apologizing” for charging $10 for the yard signs. “I don't want to capitalize on it.”

The posters have been wildly successful. Ortegon talked about about a group of kids who stood outside of Tap Society across the street and counted the amount of car honks they got from holding up their Naz Reid posters. They got over 100 honks.

Johnson and Ortegon are longtime collaborators, holding a teacher appreciation event together at the gallery space in August for the last four years. So it was only natural that Johnson used ColorWheel Gallery as the spot for distributing his Timberwolves posters and yard signs.

“I always work with Tammy,” Johnson said.

Johnson popped into the store on Wednesday with a stack of yard signs, and talked with customers about his lifelong Timberwolves fandom.

“I was born in ‘81, we got [the Timberwolves] in ‘89,”  Johnson said. “I never really picked another team.”

Adam Johnson signs a Naz Reid yard sign for a customer on May 22. Photo by Melody Hoffmann

Do the Timerwovles know about his art? You betcha. Johnson managed to get his original Naz Reid painting to the team and it ended up in Reid’s hands in early May.

“They were just leaving for Denver, game one,” Johnson said as he showed a picture of Reid holding the canvas to a customer. Yesterday the Timberwolves were gearing up for Game 1 of the NBA Conference Finals against the Dallas Mavericks. The last time the Wolves made it to the Conference Finals was the 2003-04 season.

Naz Reid holds Adam Johnson’s original painting. Image courtesy of Johnson’s Instagram account

You may recognize Johnson’s artwork from around the neighborhood. He is known for drawing historical and educational figures that are printed onto yard signs. Johnson previously taught at Hiawatha College Prep-Kingfield, which closed. He now works with students at Roosevelt High School doing career exploration.

A portrait of Volodymyr Zelenskyy by Adam Johnson that can be seen in yard sign format around Southwest Minneapolis. Image courtesy of Johnson’s Instagram account

ColorWheel Gallery, located at 319 W. 46th St., is open Tuesday through Saturday from noon-7 p.m.