Artist Maxwell Emcays stands in front of a mural of wings.

About the Artist

About a decade ago Maxwell Emcays was couch surfing and sleeping on the CTA trains. Today he is a philanthropist, an author of 4 children’s books, runs mentoring in a juvenile detention center, holds 2 patents, does multiple charitable projects and is a full-time Artist focused on art activism.

Maxwell Emcays is a Chicago based multidisciplinary creative who began his journey creating digitally born work, knowing a t-shirt as his only canvas. While attending The University Of Illinois he explored the relationship between meaning as it pertains to context. The t-shirt presented itself as an allegory that references this. His work seeks to navigate the bounds of meaning. His multi-layered work strives to create dialog around these institutionalized barriers while presenting a more overt conscious meaning.

Stylistically, he references abstract expressionism, pop art and Afrocentrism. He channels his making process and rendering to echo the underlying theme.

His work has been seen in Miami Art Basel, Chicago galleries, the DuSable Museum, private collections and highlighted on NBC’s “Making a Difference”. You can learn more about Maxwell on his website.


Project Overview

The City of Raleigh is relocating Fire Station 3 from 13 S. East Street to 1000 Rock Quarry Road. The new facility will be approximately 12,000 square feet, including two apparatus bays to house Engine 3 and a backup engine or ladder reserve.

The new location is directly adjacent to the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Gardens. Other nearby amenities include a Non-Profit community health clinic, an elementary school, and the YMCA. The site is also surrounded on two sides by property belonging to the North Carolina Correctional Institute for Women and the Wake Correctional Center. The property is located along Rock Quarry Rd which is a major throughfare between downtown and the beltline. 

The project will include a public art component created by Artist Maxwell Emcays as well as community engagement.

Below is a video Presentation by artist Maxwell Emcays on his three conceptual designs for Fire Station 3. (Click the image below to play the presentation).

After watching the presentation, please take the Concept Design Survey to provide your input on the designs. The survey can be found by clicking the "Concept Design Survey" tab at the top of the page or clicking the "Continue" button at the bottom of this page.


About Raleigh Public Art

Mission: To create and integrate diverse artworks into Raleigh's landscape in order to establish a vibrant visual environment that provides public places with civic distinction, as well as fostering meaningful connections between people and place.

History: In 2009, the City of Raleigh adopted ordinances creating the Percent Art Program. The program allocates 1% of funds from capital construction projects for public art. Public art associated with City of Raleigh construction projects is managed by the Raleigh Arts Office. Artists are selected by submitting to public Artist Calls (RFQ/RFP). Submissions are reviewed and ranked by an Artist Selection Panel appointed by the Public Art & Design Board. More information about Raleigh Arts can be found at  

Thank you for your input!

Your comments are important and will help the public artists understand what residents value and want to see along Atlantic Avenue.


If you have questions about the project, or would like a project team member to meet with you or a group you represent, please contact Public Arts director Kelly McChesney at 

Visit the project websites at for more information.