The Rose River Memorial is a grassroots community art movement that honors and grieves the many lives lost during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. We aspire to create a felt rose as a symbol of grief for every life lost.
This has been a time in which so many have been devastated by the loss of a close relative, compounded by the inability to say final goodbyes and to freely grieve for loved ones.
Rose River Memorial helps with the grieving process by encouraging these families to create roses for their loved ones, while at the same time inspiring the rest of the community to show their support by also contributing with hand-crafted roses.
Why the Rose?
We chose the rose as a symbol of mourning as it is used in the context of funerals throughout the US, The red rose symbolizes courage and valor and is the national flower of the US. The roses are hand-crafted by the community out of red eco-felt and mounted on recycled fishing nets, including some that have been extracted from marine preserves.
We are partnering with Building Bridges, Marked by Covid, and Let's Reimagine, and believe in inclusivity in all our collaborations by working with communities and age groups of all backgrounds.
The project has been supported officially endorsed by mayors, lawmakers, and spiritual leaders from around the country.
The Rose River Memorial has been exhibited in many places including Los Angeles, Orange County,. St. Louis, Topeka, Maui, Ojai, Rio Grande Valley, and many upcoming venues. We aim to create a national-scale memorial that will be exhibited in Washington DC.
How can I get involved?
Schools, churches, museums, art centers, universities, senior citizen centers, and groups including the Kiwanis and Girl Scouts of America have generously contributed thousands of roses and yet we have many more to make.
If you are interested please check on the Making Roses tab or contact us to get involved, We are seeking partners to bring this project to full fruition, either by making roses or helping to host a memorial in your hometown.
Hui No'eau, Maui
Mon, May 17, 20219:00 AM Sat, Sep 4, 20214:00 PM
In May 2021, Artist Marcos Lutyens collaborated with Hui No‘eau Visual Arts Center to create a Rose River Memorial on Maui at the Hui’s Makawao campus to honor the lives lost to COVID-19 in the State of Hawai‘i. Members of the Maui community have made more than 500 felt roses in remembrance of their loved ones. Maui’s healthcare workers, students, non-profit organizations, council members, government employees, and families have all contributed to the project. Special thanks also to Jill Bernshouse and Tim Garcia.
Building Bridges Art Exchange, Los Angeles County
The installation is on display outdoors at the Bergamot Station Arts Center Parking lot until the end of April. The unveiling was live streamed for the public at 5pm and will be honored with the presence of Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Manager, Shannon Daut, Rose River Memorial’s conductor, Marcos Lutyens, Building Bridges Art Exchange’s Director, Marisa Caichiolo, and the rest of the participant partners Galleries.
Christ Cathedral, Orange County
Our current memorial is on view at the Christ Cathedral until the end of June. The project memorializes the more than 4,600 people who have died from Covid in Orange County. Special offerings are included for local Garden Grover community members lost to Covid.