Arcana Books hosts monthly Instagram show moderated by Jason E.C. Wright
By Nicole Borgenicht
Every month, Arcana: Books on the Arts hosts “Show & Tell,” an Instagram show moderated by Jason E.C. Wright, founder and director of Burntsienna Research Society, a critical-thinking research consultancy for design histories, intangible culture and reference materials.
Prior to the pandemic, Wright and his associates met at various locations.
During COVID-19, Wright shifted to Instagram Live, and frequently broadcasts from Arcana in the Helms Bakery District in Culver City.
“‘Show & Tell’ came out of a traveling reading room program from 2019-2020, where we would bring art/design books into public spaces and private member clubs to encourage deeper engagement,” Wright said.
“Arcana has always been a favorite art/design bookstore of mine and hosting ‘Show & Tell’ at Arcana as a venue just made sense.
“My connection to Arcana is a personal feeling. The space reminds me of the libraries I would get lost in as a child visiting my Granny on campus who was a professor at Purdue University. It also felt very personal in the way the books were organized and presented; less a bookstore, more an invitation to explore someone’s very personal collection.”
An accomplished designer, researcher and writer with more than 20 years of experience as a retail and fashion professional, Wright takes his love of books serious, also serving as librarian-in-residence at home in Treehouse Hollywood.
“I was a high school substitute teacher for about four years in Indianapolis, which was an absolute joy, along with numerous mentoring and speaking engagements,” Wright said. “These experiences showed me how much I truly enjoy the light bulb ‘a-ha’ moments that happen when people make a connection to new information, watching their gears start to turn in new ways as they internalize this new knowledge. It’s one of my favorite things in this world to be part of. My previous life in radio and the music industry serves me well. I’ve been a performing artist, spoken word poet, and host for numerous broadcasts, podcasts, or live moderation. This ability combines with my enjoyment of teaching as a way of connecting people to information in a way that is casual yet informative. I try to strike a good balance between James Lipton and Krista Tippet, with a healthy dose of Neil de Grasse Tyson’s penchant for humor.”
Wright’s angles of storytelling engage his audience on “Show & Tell,” where he shares his favorite books from Arcana on the show and discusses books setting up fast historical comparisons, cultural influences, design, and artistic genres, while reflecting upon artist or designer purpose.
The next “Show & Tell” will
take place October 20 from
5 to 6 p.m. on Instagram