Celebrating Melanin: A New Outdoor Photography Installation at DC’s Union Market

I recently took my son to Union Market in Washington DC for a socially distanced art adventure! We went to check out Celebrating Melanin – a new, completely outdoor photography installation “showcasing the beauty, variety, interest, and pride of Black heritage, as seen through the lens of 5 DMV photographers.”

A view from the parking lot at Union Market in Washington DC.

An Outdoor Art Experience at Union Market

Union Market is a huge building in the heart of Washington DC housing a variety of specialty food vendors. It’s a wonderful spot for the community to gather and socialize. There is seating available outside on the main floor and on an airy rooftop terrace.

Additionally, the immediate area, known as Union Market District, showcases some of the city’s most beloved wall murals (such as my personal favorite, the heart mural by Mr. Brainwash). In this same tradition, the photographs in Celebrating Melanin are large-scale and displayed directly on the exterior of several neighborhood buildings. PRO-TIP: This helpful map shows the locations of outdoor art in Union Market District (including where to find the photographs in Celebrating Melanin).

Celebrating Melanin is a completely outdoor photography installation at DC’s Union Market. The photographs are large scale and showcased directly on the exterior of the area’s buildings.

Celebrating Melanin & Black Heritage

Celebrating Melanin highlights the work of 5 Black DC area photographers – Bryon Summers, Ashleigh Bing, James Anthony, Jeremy Ives, and Adedayo Kosoko. Their goal? To create a show for people to “see, feel, and experience who we truly are.” These photographs are intimate and beautiful. They convey the moments of a wonderfully relatable and shared human experience.

“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.” ~Artists’ Statement

A Few Union Market Installation Favorites

Legacy- Moon Melanin Series, Adedayo Kosoko, 2019
Kosoko Boys, James Anthony, 2019
In Lamu, James Anothony, 2017 (SHOP THIS PHOTOGRAPH HERE)
(Left) Strength and Wisdom, Jeremy Ives, 2020 (SHOP THIS PHOTOGRAPH HERE) ~ (Right) Blood Stripes, Adedayo Kosoko, 2020
My World, Jeremy Ives, 2019 (SHOP THIS PHOTOGRAPH HERE)
(Top) Gabe Stone Shayer – Practice At ABT, Bryon Summers, 2019 (SHOP IMAGE PRINTED ON A T-SHIRT HERE) ~ (Bottom) DIDIEBOP, James Anthony, 2015
Fleur-de-Lis, Adedayo Kosoko, 2019
You can discover and enjoy the photographs from Celebrating Melanin by walking down the streets surrounding Union Market.

Love Their Work? Follow These 5 Photographers on Instagram

I Want to Hear from You!

Do you have a favorite photograph from Celebrating Melanin? Let me know in the comments below!


  1. Mary Ranta says:

    They are all beautiful but Legacy Moon took my breath away

    1. lhfac says:

      Same! That photograph is so beautiful!

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