I was walking through Saddle River County Park with a friend, and as you can see below, it’s a nice escape into nature with trees, a pond, and no buildings in site. It’s a suburban park in north Jersey, and not exactly the place where one expects to see a former North Carolina basketball star who played in the NBA in the 1990s … scroll down for more.
I don’t want to mislead you, as I didn’t see the basketball star himself, but as I turned a corner in the park, I saw this on the back of a sign:
Being the basketball fan that I am, I couldn’t resist stopping to appreciate “Montross Zero,” which depicts former North Carolina Tar Heel standout Eric Montross, who was the 9th pick in the 1994 NBA Draft, being selected by the Boston Celtics. Leave it up to me to also recognize that while Eric Montross played in the 1990s, he’s depicted here in the style of a Topps 1972-73 basketball card. Without knowing anything about the artist Montross Zero, I could guess that maybe he’s a little like me with similar interests, basketball and art.
At any rate, I decided to post my picture to my “Arts Adventurer” Instagram, since this definitely fits under the Arts Adventurer concept of finding art in unexpected places, or “art that doesn’t come with white walls or an audio guide.” I tagged @montrosszero, and soon enough received a friendly message offering to send me some more art. A couple weeks went by, and I was distracted with other things, when I got a fat envelope in my mailbox, and opened it up to find all of this (and more)! The package came from Maine, so it I have no idea how the first sticker art piece I saw found its way to Saddle River County Park, but then again, the Montross Zero Instagram feed shows a wide range of locations, everywhere from Texas to Brooklyn to Belgium! If you’d like to see more, check out his Facebook page here.