cdeVision Launches Online Don Hunstein Exhibit
HOLYOKE – To some, the image of Bob Dylan and his girlfriend Suze Rotolo strolling down Jones Street in Greenwich Village, NY, for the cover of his “The Freewheelin’” album is as iconic as a Norman Rockwell painting.
For music lovers and website developers Antonio Costa and Bill Alatalo, this is just one of the thousands of images they had the opportunity to curate for the late photographer, Don Hunstein (1928-2017).
Hunstein was an in-house photographer for Columbia Records from 1955 to 1986, thus “amassing an archive of over 100,000 photos from album covers and publicity shoots to covering artist recording sessions and even visiting artists at home,” according to a cdeVision press release.
Located in the STEAM building in the heart of the Arts and Innovation District in Holyoke, the cdeVision web studio has developed creative visual solutions for websites, advertising and marketing for a vast array of clients since 2005, according to Alatalo.
With a client base ranging from local organizations like Community Involved in Sustainable Agriculture (CISA) to Gateway City Arts, Alatalo is proud to say they build and create websites from scratch and for people to update themselves – unlike some web solutions that may use “a cookie cutter” approach of building into an existing site.
He told Reminder Publishing that they began working for Hunstein several years ago while the photographer was still alive but ailing from Alzheimer’s. He said the first project began when he and his daughter Tina Cornell wanted to create a simple portfolio website; however, due to Hunstein’s progressive illness and eventual passing, the work “got lost in the shuffle.”
However, eventually after her father’s passing, Cornell, who lives in Florence, wanted to put his work online and create a museum-type gallery archive site – “cdeVision was hired by the estate of Don Hunstein to build a website that would showcase his impressive portfolio, provide information on prints of his work, and keep his legacy alive on the internet. The result is an easy-to-navigate responsive site, designed to match the tones of Hunstein’s photographic style.” according to a statement from their press release.
Alatalo remarked, “This is the first time that we put a lot of these images online for her and him. So, it was a really cool project to work on.”
Furthermore, because of the expanse of this project and the familiarity people have with such imagery – like the Jaco Pastorius and Bob Dylan album covers and Johnny Cash images to name a few – the designers wanted to raise awareness about who created the work. Alatalo said when he spoke to people about the project and the photographs, people knew the pictures but not the photographer who took them. He said, “They reference that work, but they really don’t reference that name.”
Therefore, he added, “with Tina living around here now, in Florence, it’s kind of like this local and New York City connection we’re making with this website. So, we really wanted to just push it out there, get some positive in the news, you know, the news is so dark these days. That’s kind of our big thing is to just get more awareness of his work and to get people to look at the website, check out some of his work – and maybe buy some prints.”
Now that this big project is up and running, the web designers are busy with a multitude of other fun projects like a large music project for a “rock band.” He said, “We’re really excited about that project – we’re more excited about that project than anything else right now.” He said he is unable to provide details about it at this time but will release more information soon.
With their business based in Holyoke, they were also awarded the opportunity to create and develop a new tourism website for the city called “Explore Holyoke.” He said about the city, “We absolutely love it. When we started our business in 2005, both of us lived in town at that time. And, you know, we just have this real appreciation and love for the city.”