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Bean Hollow on Main Street Displays Patrons' Art

The art went from a secret drawer to the walls of the coffee shop.

Inside Bean Hollow (Screenshot from Rubykawasai's YouTube documentary on Bean Hollow)
Inside Bean Hollow (Screenshot from Rubykawasai's YouTube documentary on Bean Hollow)
Art created in the shadows of Ellicott City's Bean Hollow is now on display.

The coffee shop on Main Street doesn't have wireless internet as many others do, encouraging guests to unplug from their devices and connect with one another.

"They want people to talk and network and have relationships and that kind of thing, which I think is nice," one patron said in a documentary about the shop in 2010.

One way people have been connecting is through artwork and messages left in a drawer at the back of the coffee shop, where the Howard County Times reported 100 napkins and 11 notebooks have accumulated since the trend started in 2008.

Owner Gretchen Shuey put some of the art on display at Bean Hollow last month. It consists of "napkin drawings, writings and musings of our customers, left behind in our 'secret' drawer," according to the Bean Hollow Facebook page.

The art is presented on six boards, and Shuey plans to rotate out some of the contributions and possibly compile a coffee table book featuring the art, according to the Howard County Times.

"There is so much we were unable to exhibit because the writing was too small to see from a distance," Bean Hollow reported. "We are playing with ideas like menu board cases that could be hung by each table, or maybe putting some of them in the napkin holder display where the monthly specials are currently."

According to Bean Hollow, the boards will be changed every four to six weeks and will be up at least through the end of 2014.

Related: Patch Captures a Cup in the Making
Veronica Salisbury April 16, 2014 at 12:29 PM
This is so cool, and so glad she put some of these up the owner I have noticed them my last few times in the B.H and was telling my husband the other day I should write something or sketch something for them to add to the collection. Iam glad this has been written about in the Patch for others to notice and see.
Sara Arditti April 16, 2014 at 03:32 PM
What a wonderful idea! If a book is published it would be something akin to a big scrapbook or snapshot of a certain place in time. In an era of non-stop yet ephemeral digital noise and distraction, it's nice to know that people like Gretchen still value the "B.C." (Before Computers) old-fashioned technology of hand-to-paper.
Veronica Salisbury April 18, 2014 at 08:07 AM
I agree Sara, I think the book would be awesome and would be very popular, I know i would buy a copy. Yes , so true and freshing to see someone (Gretchen) value the B.C (Before computers) and who still enjoys the personal touch of life which computers have taken away.

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