Art student takes non-traditional approach to school, life

December 9, 2013

Standing next to a television covered in magenta frosted roses, Amy Gochoel describes herself as a “loud, wild and crazy person.” Given that she is majoring in sculpture through the School of Art in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University, it seems rather fitting that she steers away from normal and prefers the unique.

Gochoel began her journey at ASU in the psychology program, but left to start a family. When she returned to the university, she enrolled in the art education program and took a sculpting class on a whim. The class changed her, and she hasn’t left the sculpting department since. student portrait taken in art studio Download Full Image

She says that the strong theoretical teachings combined with hands-on experience provide a well-rounded education. The program also encourages students to take creative liberty with their work. A supportive atmosphere ties everything together.

“We work in teams a lot. It really fosters a close-knit community. You build strong relationships with your professors because the program only accepts a certain number of students. I love it,” said Gochoel.

Inspiration for her projects comes from her personal experiences, as well the media industry. Gochoel was a professional photographer for 12 years, and also dabbled in modeling. As such, she has a keen interest in the idea of beauty and how others perceive it.  

“There is society’s way of viewing beauty, through the eyes of advertising, and there is what you're taught through nurture, and how you feel. I use frosting to depict the beauty rituals that we go through. It’s tempting and delicious, and we desire to have it,” she said.

Gochoel is perfectly fine putting her opinions and body on the line for her artwork. Along with her love of frosting, she has appeared nude, incorporated metalwork and tried out body casting in her pieces.

“People would describe my work as racy and raunchy at times. They often ask if I’m afraid to show my daughter or dad. If I didn’t feel comfortable showing it to the people closest to me then I wouldn’t do it.”

“My daughter has been raised in a crazy environment, so she gets it before others do. I’ve taught her that it is important not to be ashamed of your body or hide it,” she said.

Thanks to Google Calendar, she can easily manage her busy schedule.

“My calendar looks like a NASA space launch. I schedule everything from my classes to picking up my daughter from school. I don’t sleep a lot, but it’s okay, because I like where I am,” she said.

After graduation she would like to attend a graduate school and secure a job in higher education. Before she begins the next chapter, she has a few words of advice for parents thinking about retuning to school.

“Hit the ground running and don’t look back. Just take it day by day and don’t be afraid to get dirty,” she said.

From nonprofits to movie sets, December grad does it all

December 9, 2013

Jared Doles, a senior film and media production major in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University, has mixed emotions about receiving his diploma this December.

On one hand, he knows that starting his professional career in the real world will be an adventure. On the other, leaving campus means leaving behind his friends, educational opportunities and mentors. student holding blankets Download Full Image

While at ASU, the Roswell, N.M. native divided his time between working as a Change Agent in Changemaker Central and leading the March of Dimes Collegiate Council, which he founded as a sophomore. Doles simultaneously served on the National Youth Council for March of Dimes, where he was able to grow his skills working for a nonprofit organization.

His work won him the “Changemaker of the Year” as a sophomore. The Alumni Association also awarded him both the Leadership Scholarship and the Dr. Wilkinson Scholarship. The awards recognize outstanding students who are making a difference at ASU, as well as in their community.

“The Leadership Scholarship allowed me to have the flexibility to do the things I wanted, both inside and outside of my degree path,” he said.

His degree has taken him to new heights, he adds, such as working as part of a new feature film – Car Dogs – that was written by ASU alumnus Mark Edward King and is being directed by ASU professor Adam Collis. The movie provides a unique opportunity for Doles and many other students in the Herberger film program to work with and learn from industry professionals, such as Craig “Cowboy” Aines and George Lopez.

“What do I love about movies? They’re magic," says Doles. "Movies can change people’s opinions, perspectives and how you look at the world. It’s one of the most influential mediums available in our culture.”

Eventually he would like to write and direct his own projects for the big screen. In the meantime, when he isn’t on the set of "Car Dogs," Doles is working on his senior capstone project. He chose to write an original musical that follows three first-time freshmen as they enter into a collegiate atmosphere.

“I surveyed 200 people to find out how they felt about their college experience. I took the good and bad, and based my characters off them,” he said.

As for his plans after graduation, Doles has not secured something full time, but says he has “a lot of feelers out there.”

He would like to get a writing agent to help him with his original works, which range from drama to horror to comedy. He also has a few pearls of wisdom for current students: “Take the wheel on your own education. Don’t take 'no' for an answer. If there is something you want to learn and haven’t yet, take the initiative to find the information.”