Walk Union Market District’s New Outdoor Gallery Celebrating Melanin & Black Heritage


DC-raised photographer Bryon Summers returns to Union Market to showcase DMV-bred Black photographers.

Photographer Bryon Summers’ newest project, Celebrating Melanin & Black Heritage,” marks the return of the DC-raised photographer to Union Market District.

“Celebrating Melanin & Black Heritage” is a district-wide art installation of 25 photos creating an immersive outdoor gallery prominently displayed on the historic walls of Union Market District. The gallery is created and curated by five Black photographers including:

The purpose behind the installation is to showcase the beauty, variety, interests and pride as seen through the lens of DMV-bred Black photographers.

“What’s needed now more than ever, is for people to see, feel and experience who we truly are. We are beautiful, proud, intelligent, creative, inspiring, and are demanding that the world finally acknowledges that,” said Bryon Sommers. “It’s important, as Black photographers, that we capture the love and light of our people and the space we occupy in humanity. It’s imperative that we celebrate each other in that way and invite others to see us in the same light.”

In 2016, Bryon’s “WE LOVE YOU PROJECT” was fueled by both art and activism where 30 portraits of black men dressed in black T-shirts were seen along the wall of Union Market. The collection of photographs created a powerful display of unity and representation of black men.

In collaboration with Bryon, Union Market District has launched a website dedicated to the evolving street art collection that includes the local and international artist community partnerships. Visitors can use their phones as they explore “Celebrating Melanin & Black Heritage” to scan QR codes located throughout the exhibit and be directed to the Union Market website to read the stories behind the artists’ work.

The “Celebrating Melanin & Black Heritage” launch will kick off with a series of programming through the end of August.

  • August 15 @ 2:00pm | Instagram Live Launch on @UnionMarketDC
  • August 20 @ 6:30 PM | Virtual Artist Panel with Claudia Watts of The Washington Informer: We Present What We Represent
  • Shooting with Shooters Podcast | Produced by Bryon Summers + Adedayo Kosoko, each episode is an artist interview that will be released through the end of August

For more information about Union Market District Art and Bryon Summers visit:




About Union Market District: The Union Market District is a place where businesses of all sizes launch, scale and innovate; a place for creative minds and businesses to connect, thrive, discover and make D.C. their own. Located a short walk from the United States Capitol and NoMa/Gallaudet Metro station, the Union Market District is a 45-acre historic urban development where, at its core, sits the acclaimed food market, Union Market. Since opening in September 2012, Union Market has created its own thriving international community now averaging nearly 3 million visitors annually. With Michelin-recognized restaurants and retail concepts from both coasts, the District has hosted more than 500 pop-ups and events, attracting new concepts from YouTube Space to online retail powerhouse Everlane. A contemporary Latin American market, La Cosecha, opened in the District in September 2019 on 4th Street. For more information about the Union Market District, please visit or follow @UnionMarketDC on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

About EDENS: EDENS is a retail real estate owner, operator and developer of a nationally leading portfolio of 125 places. Our purpose is to enrich community through human engagement. We know that when people come together, they feel a part of something bigger than themselves and prosperity follows— economically, socially, culturally and soulfully. EDENS has 250 employees across offices in key markets including Washington, D.C., Boston, Dallas, New York, Atlanta, Miami, Charlotte, Houston and Denver. For additional information about the company and its retail real estate portfolio, visit or follow @WeAreEDENS.