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Senior Gabriel Fernandez-Obregon (Ridgewood, N.J.) is unifying his love of two art forms, music and graphic design, in the creation of a full production music album this semester. In conjunction, he plans on producing a graphically designed jewel case and booklet as well as an assortment of promotional media, such as posters and designs for shirts.

Fernandez-Obregon will create the album and corresponding media during an independent study with Lew Minter, visiting lecturer in art and media lab director at Lafayette’s Williams Visual Arts Building.

An award-winning designer, Minter has guided more than 70 students in independent studies in graphic design. He has mounted five solo shows of his paintings and sculpture and participated in a dozen group exhibitions. His work is included in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in Rome and dozens of private and corporate collections.

“Professor Minter is more than a caring and qualified mentor,” says Fernandez-Obregon, an art major. “He is very supportive with my creative ideas and leads me towards greater challenges. I feel that he can give me an honest opinion from the standpoint of another artist and not just a mentor.”

Minter explains that Fernandez-Obregon is trying to make a synthesis of music and graphics. “Old album covers were important to get across a sense of the performers and their album. This is visual communication, and Gabriel recognizes that somewhere along the line from album covers to compact disc jewel cases, the expression of that message was lost,” he says. “From the graphics standpoint, he is looking at what is normally done today and analyzing the weaknesses of that strategy.”

Fernandez-Obregon, who frequently composes music for keyboard and guitar, says he is always looking for ways to apply his talents as a writer, musician, and creative designer. “My natural passion has always been expression through both musical and visual forms of art. There is a lot that can be said through either medium,” he explains.

“Gabriel is very good — he pushes his thinking,” says Minter. “Part of his strength as a designer is that he is able to turn a problem upside down and look at it differently, which essentially yields a better, less predictable solution.

Originally an economics and business major, Fernandez-Obregon switched to art in preparation for a career encompassing his great fervor for music and art, such as music publishing.

“The new art facilities at Lafayette are great,” he adds. “They provide a valuable setting for creative thinking. The resources available also make it easier to fabricate artistic ideas efficiently.”

Fernandez-Obregon is a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, where he has previously served as rush chairman. He participates in intramural sports and attends fundraising events such as the annual cancer walk in Washington, D.C. He has also been a D.J. for WJRH, the campus radio station.

Categorized in: Academic News