Local Art Plug: Local brand bridging the gap of disconnection amongst artists


Makayla Roumph

Local Art Plug serves the Omaha art scene by creating community and offering accessibility to local artists. Photo courtesy of Xavier Jackson; Designed by Cameron French.

Another local brand is making way to bridge the gap of disconnection amongst artists in Omaha and surrounding cities.

Local Art Plug is a tech start up brand designed to create a stronger arts community that is easily accessible around the world. In order to branch broader, the connections must start small in the local creative scene.

The brand was created by science fiction writer Xavier Jackson in July of 2017 after graduating from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a double major in Broadcast Production and Advertising with minors in Art and English. He was unhappy working in construction, of which was outside of his degree and true passion.

“I got out of college and got a job working construction, which wasn’t my major, and I wasn’t enjoying it,” Jackson said. “So, I took this idea and applied to a couple incubators and from there, the idea flourished into a tech company.”

The initial idea was to serve high school students through the circulation of a magazine publication to allow young artists exposure and to inform them of the necessary steps to success before applying for college.

“When I got to college, I realized that to apply to art or film school, you needed to have a portfolio and I didn’t even know what a portfolio was coming out of high school,” Jackson said.

The idea was further inspired when Jackson found himself disconnected in college from other like-minded individuals within the same location, who could critique and give feedback for his science fiction writing.

“My family was very supportive, and I needed that, but I also needed feedback from someone within the same creative discipline,” Jackson said.

Jackson said the Omaha art scene feels very disconnected. However, brands like Local Art Plug, Broccoli Creative Collective, Culxr House, Keep Local Alive and SkateFest are working to create community.

“We’re all stronger together,” Jackson said. “I’ve realized with the art journey in Omaha that a lot of the art scene is separated and cliquish and doing their own thing. There are people who have started to bridge that gap since I have been on the scene, but that is where our focus is to get people who don’t normally venture outside of Omaha to a different part and to a different audience with different art.”

Local Art Plug has future plans to implement a location-based app to support artists and art lovers by connecting them with others outside of their city. However, for the time being, the brand is connecting through their website, social media platforms, art sales, art subscriptions and in-person gatherings post COVID.

In response to restrictions from the pandemic, Local Art Plug has partnered with Keep Local Alive for a weekly Facebook live streaming series every Thursday.

“This is a good way for artists to connect in the comments and see other artists in the community and their current projects,” Jackson said.

Local Art Plug encourages artists to support other artists, but they also encourage locals to support artists through their subscription service. This feature allows for locals to experience new art in a rotation, all within the comfort of their own homes. To subscribe and learn about the different packages offered, visit their website.

As for artists, Local Art Plug offers the opportunity to be featured at no cost on their Instagram and take 20% of all art sales and subscriptions sold through their platforms. When signing up, artists will receive a free art profile and marketing package with up to 10-15 photos and a video bio to promote and connect with the community.

To be featured, direct message Local Art Plug on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn. To sign up, visit their website and fill out the form or email info@localartplug.com to receive more information on the expectations prior to the creation of the art profile.