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The art before the storm

Wallace captured spirit of Morton with 'salt art' before Irma's onslaught
CHESTER ROBARDS
Senior Businessā€ˆReporter
chester@nasguard.com

Published: Sep 15, 2017

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Visual artist Allan Wallace has been gaining renown since he began using Morton Salt to create hyper-realistic art pieces. In some cases Wallace also uses other seasonings, spices and miscellaneous items.

He recently took his company, Design Strong Studios, to Inagua to do a live salt art piece for Morton Salt and its employees. This was before Hurricane Irma caused major damage to the facility. The Morton Salt plant is the backbone of Inagua's economy and also suffered damage during the passage of Hurricane Matthew last year.

Wallace's salt art has captured he attention of the world, in particular some of his salt portraits of famous basketball players like Kobe Bryant and famous actors like Kevin Hart. Wallace has also done a salt art piece of former U.S. President Barack Obama.

Before the recent onslaught of Hurricane Irma on the Morton Salt facility, the company had commissioned Wallace to recreate the company's famous "umbrella girl" logo. At the time, the company's Senior Director of Mining and Manufacturing, Jean-Baptistery Dromer, said the facility was fully up and running since suffering damage from Hurricane Matthew, and was close to being able to accept larger vessels to its facility. With the completion of its hurricane-damaged dock imminent, the plant had set its focus on becoming more efficient and on improving its processes.

"We are back up and running," he said then, before Irma's onslaught.

"We are producing salt and shipping salt out and we are rebuilding our dock. We will soon have the large vessel facility again. We are taking the opportunity to focus on efficiency and continue to improve our processes and continue to be the number one producers of salt in the world."

Morton staff watched as Allan sprinkled salt onto a black carpet until the famous little girl holding an umbrella and spilling salt, came to life before their eyes. The entire Morton staff watched on in amazement as Allan completed the piece.

Dromer said at the time that Wallace's work with salt was one of the most unique things he has seen.

"It was really impressive to see what the artist did with the salt and he drew a Morton girl on that blackboard," said Dromer.

"It's kind of unique because that umbrella girl is very famous in the U.S. and in The Bahamas, everybody knows about her and so we're very proud of the umbrella girl, and to see her being drawn like that with some salt, it was really something unique.

"I very much appreciated that moment. It was great."

Wallace has been seen on ESPN and other nationally acclaimed shows in the U.S. because of his salt art. He said creating the salt company's famous logo for Morton was a "surreal" experience.

"It's surreal to hook up with the company whose name is synonymous with salt around the world," said Wallace. "I'm excited about the possibility of opportunities to go further with them."

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