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"Demand Justice" on display at Queens Landing through July 26.
"Demand Justice" on display at Queens Landing through July 26.
Photo: Chicago Park District

Artist talks scheduled at site of art piece on June 19 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in celebration of Juneteenth.

 “Demand Justice,” a temporary, public art installation by Maxwell Emcays, a Chicago-based artist, author, director, mentor and philanthropist, will now be on display through July 26. On June 19, the multidisciplinary artist will be hosting 20-minute conversations about the inspiration for the art piece and Juneteenth at the top of the hour, starting at 9 a.m. 

The two figures of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King are laser cut laminated wood mounted to an aluminum armature. The positive/negative interplay of space in the artwork bring out the faces against the backdrop of Lake Michigan and the blue sky. The positive-negative interplay also serves as a metaphor for society’s challenges. 

The artist’s goal for this piece is to inspire Chicagoans and visitors to be advocates for all that are underrepresented and oppressed, and to bridge together two ideas that have one common goal. The intention is also for the piece to spotlight the need for our society to seek to work together on common goals.

The installation wil be on display through July 26 at Queens Landing, 500 S. Lake Shore Dr., east of Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park. 

“Those that ignore evil and those that perpetuate evil are on the same team, we have to create spaces that make inequality and bigotry unwelcome,” said Chicago-based artist, Maxwell Emcays. “The location is key because it is in the heart of the city in an area that often has the privilege to ignore the suffering of those elsewhere in Chicago.”

The artist’s physical arts pieces are a hybrid of 2D and 3D digital and analog with wood as the primary medium. His art employs a multidisciplinary and interactive community approach and have been on display publicly throughout Chicago in a limited, pop-up fashion since 2018.

The base of the sculpture is made of a wood substructure that is machine cut. The layers of the piece are stained, painted and glued together. The piece also has a fabric backing that captures light to allow the piece to luminate. The material was chosen because wood is a relatable and accessible material to the average person. The wood allows for a closer human connection to the piece and the message. 

For more information about Maxwell Emcays, visit

For a full collection of the Chicago Park District’s artworks, visit