Meet the Interns: Camryn Drabenstadt


For our second installment of Meet the Interns, we’d like to highlight Camryn Drabenstadt, another one of our amazing interns from over the summer. Camryn was with us from May until August. She worked mostly with our Connections Coordinator Eriko Hattori and was a huge help in getting Small Mall’s website up and running, as well as doing great work for CDCP all around. Camryn’s last day with us was last week. We’re missing her positive energy being around at CDCP, but we’re excited for everything she’ll be doing in the future and are looking forward to working with her again.

1) Can you tell me a little about yourself? Where do you go to school and where are you from?

My name is Camryn Drabenstadt, and I go to Point Park University. I am a Junior Photography Major with a minor in Graphic Design. I am originally from Charlotte, North Carolina!

2) How are you liking going to school in Pittsburgh?

I love going to school in Pittsburgh! There is so much opportunity both socially and academically, and going to school in the city has helped me grow so much. Your experience at Point Park (and Pittsburgh in general) relies so much on what you make of it, which I think is why some people don’t enjoy it as much as I do. But between the school events and projects, restaurants around the city, festivals, museums, and galleries, I find it so hard to force myself to stay at home and relax sometimes!

3) I know that you're interested in photography. How did you get interested in the medium?

I’ve always known that I leaned towards the creative side of things, and when I was growing up I knew that the second I got my hands on a camera that all my ideas and art practices would make sense. I didn’t grow up in a very artistic community, and no one in my family or who I was close with was into photography, so I didn’t get a camera until I was 15. It was a point and shoot film camera that I got on ebay for $10. I didn’t have any understanding of the technical side of photography, so the only thing that really saved the photos I took during that time were my camera’s great automatic features. I spent the rest of high school just taking random snapshots on my little film camera, until it finally gave out in the spring of my senior year. All throughout high school I had planned on studying business or journalism in college, so I never really thought about photography or art as a career. Right around college commitment time I was taking my first business class at a local community college and absolutely hated it, so reasonably enough I went into crisis mode considering I had just realized I hated the major I chose. Point Park was my top school, and I had already planned on minoring in photography there, so I just decided to major in it instead. It was a very spontaneous choice, but I’m so happy I did it! I have learned so much about art and photography, and met so many great artists and friends through this program, I could not recommend the BFA Photography program at Point Park enough.

4) Who are your favorite Pittsburgh artists? Small Mall artists?

One of my favorite Pittsburgh artists, who also happens to be one of my professors, is Karen Antonelli. She taught me so much in my Black and White photography class, and every time I see her, in class or outside of it, she pushes me to be the best artist and student I can be. Her interest in other art mediums like linotype printing encourage me to try new things!

Another favorite Pittsburgh artist of mine is Jake Reinhart. I had heard about him ever since I moved to Pittsburgh, but met him this past winter when I interviewed him for the magazine I run. He had so much interesting and valuable things to say about photographic practices, and I had so much fun talking to him about zine and book-making, something we are both very interested in!

One of my favorite Small Mall artists (and artists in general!) is Stephen Grebinski. I think his risograph and tintype prints are absolutely spectacular, but his zines really steal the show for me. The mediums he prints on are so unique, and I love how the subjects he chooses speak to each other in the context of sequenced media.

I also love Charlie Barber’s screenprints of Pittsburgh houses! Screenprinting is something I know little about but have always wanted to learn to do. I think his color choices, compositions, and style of printing are so visually interesting.

5) What are your favorite things to do in Pittsburgh?

In my free time I work as a barista at Adda Coffee and Tea House in Shadyside, so I love going to different coffee shops around the city. Constellation coffee in Bloomfield and Commonplace Coffee in the Mexican War Streets are two of my favorites! I love to read so I am a frequent visitor of Classic Lines book store in Squirrel Hill, and White Whale book store in Bloomfield. I like to embroider when I get time so I often visit Artist and Craftsmen Supply in Squirrel Hill, and I can regularly be found collecting old photographs at the Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse in Wilkinsburg.

6) Tell me a little about the magazine you work on! How did you get involved?

The magazine I work on called “The Fix,” was originally started by Hannah Harley when she was a student at Point Park! It was very prolific in its early years, but students get busy and eventually it fell idle after my first semester of college. I decided to take it over my first semester of Sophomore year after I gained an interest in publishing and bookmaking, and worked the whole year to reorganize and rebrand the magazine. Working on a magazine had always piqued my interest because it blended my interest in design and layout with my interest

in art and photography, so I get to work with all the things I enjoy in one place. It was mainly just me working on the Fix last year, but I am hoping to gain some new club members this year and make our Fall 2019 issue even better than the last one!

Interested in interning for CDCP? We’re always looking for interns to help us with the nitty gritty tasks. Shoot an email to Eriko at to learn more about being a part of our team!

Meet the Interns: Murphy McConnell


CDCP's operations run smoothly thanks to our interns. For our blog, we'd like to take a moment to highlight our interns from this summer and give you a chance to meet them!

First up is Murphy, who was with us from May until August. She mostly worked with our Operations Coordinator Candace Opper and was a huge help in keeping CDCP a well oiled machine. Sadly, Murphy's last day with us was at the beginning of this month. We miss her spunk and sardonic sass, but we're looking forward to all of the amazing things she'll be doing in the future.

1) Hi Murphy! Can you tell me a little about yourself, like where you go to school and your major?

I started at Penn State in ceramics but now transferring to Appalachian State in Boone, NC to pursue a degree in Industrial Design (concentration in furniture design… hopefully)

2) You've mentioned that you do ceramics. What kind of ceramic work do you do and how did you get into it?

I enjoy sculpting over wheel work just because I feel that you get to go at your own pace. Theres also the fact that I prefer to make more of human forms which is much easier to hand build that throw. I got into ceramics at my high school. I was always encouraged to do art since I was little by my mom. She always had us doing fun crafts when my sister and I were little. Of course once we got older it turned into less of fun crafts and more into, “ Hey can you guys paint the Garage?”

3) Are there any other art practices you like to do?

I really enjoyed the wood shop that we had to do for a class in college, along with a project we did using cardboard.

4) What are your favorite things to do in Pittsburgh?
Since I live so far away I haven’t really had time to explore the city. But I have found that I enjoy people watching. Where i'm from its a small town, especially compared to Pittsburgh, and everyone sort of has a mold that they fit into but here there are no rules on how you are expected to dress without creating a town scandal 😄

5) Any favorite small mall artists? Or favorite artists in general?

I would have to say that my favorite artists here at Small Mall would have to Kathleen Zimbicki and Ryder Henry.

6) Are you excited to start going to Appalachian state and moving to North Carolina?

Excited yes, but I think I am more nervous at the moment due to the fact that I won’t know anyone and don’t know what to expect. (Plus I heard that outsiders can get culture shock because some people there don’t wear shoes… they just barefoot it)

7) What made you choose to transfer?

I choose to transfer because when I was making my college decision it was between PSU and App State and at that time I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do with my life. I still am not 100% sure, but who is? I originally started at PSU in Art Ed; once we helped out at an after school program for k-5 I knew instantly that it was NOT for me. So I went for ceramics where I realized early on that even though I enjoy ceramics I wasn’t passionate about it. So now I am following my “What If”. I am so lucky to have parents that want me to succeed, and instead of just letting me be complacent and making me go to something like marketing they encouraged me to follow the nagging feeling that I may have made the wrong choice in school. The “What If” I went to App State instead of Penn State. And after the long winded explanation is why I am transferring to App State!

Interested in interning for CDCP? We’re always looking for interns to help us with the nitty gritty tasks. Shoot an email to Eriko at to learn more about being a part of our team!