OREGON, WI, May 22, 2020 — After campuses made a nationwide decision in March to close, Maddie LeBrun, Oregon native working through her last semester of undergrad at St. Norbert College, returned home.

In light of the pandemic, Maddie resolutely believes that art can serve as an instrument for healing, encouragement, and public understanding. Because of the sudden inaccessibility of printing presses, her printmaking class switched gears from letterpress to public text-based installations, prompting the creation of her hand-painted WE CAN series, initially installed at Firefly Coffeehouse.

Artist Maddie Bebrun stands outside the Firefly Coffeehouse where her original "WE CAN" posters are on display
Artist Maddie Bebrun stands outside the Firefly Coffeehouse where her original posters are on display. Photo credit: Firefly Coffeehouse

“Art is especially important right now because it can be a contribution when we have nothing else to give” stated Maddie LeBrun. “We place so much of our identity and value on ephemeral titles—the jobs we have, the places we go, the people we talk to—that most of us feel lost when we can’t maintain those routines. These days we wake up in the morning and we can’t always do whatever we want, but we can still choose to make something good, and we can still choose to make something for others.”

“I’d like to thank Jeanne and Uriah Carpenter at Firefly for housing my original work,” continues Maddie, “Thysse for reaching out to print posters for the community, and my family for graciously working around my studio endeavors, even (and especially) when they take up the entire kitchen table.”

"WE CAN" poster series

Today, this message of hope and unity can be seen in the windows of residents and businesses throughout Oregon’s Village.

“We at Firefly Coffeehouse are absolutely committed to supporting both the arts and education, and view our very public role downtown as a place to build community” said Jeanne Carpenter, Owner, Firefly Coffee House and Village President. “We are delighted to showcase Maddie’s original work and thank her for brightening Oregon’s spirits while the world is paused.”

Poster prints are provided free to the public by Thysse and available at all three Oregon Kwik Trip locations as well as Bill’s Food Center.

About the artist

Maddie LeBrun is a designer and illustrator from Oregon, Wisconsin. She loves lettering, late nights spent in-studio, and the color yellow. Her public work is continually featured across campus as she works part-time as a poster designer for the St. Norbert College Art Department. Maddie’s most recent personal work uses a traditional alphabet to share her steadfast love for the earth and the belief that living a more sustainable life is within reach for everyone. You can learn more about Maddie and see more of her work on Instagram @mlebrunstudio

About Thysse

Thysse is a third-generation, innovative company in Oregon, WI, specializing in visual communication. We are a design, printing and manufacturing company and we have the imagination and tools to customize projects, whatever they may be. We think about how your story is being told through your direct mail, your catalog, your fleet vehicles, your apparel, the sign outside your door, and the design of the lobby inside your door. We are where you go with your brand. For more information about Thysse, please visit www.thysse.com.