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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 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.


Greater Houston Rose River memorial Messaging

Feb 14, 2023
The Greater Houston Rose River Memorial is a grassroots art installation consisting of approximately 12,000 handmade red felt roses, each representing someone in the greater Houston area who passed away from COVID-19.


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.


LA Convention Center in downtown Los Angeles

 Jul 29 - Aug 1, 2021

The Center had been a Covid field hospital over the last year. The installation, comprised of 10,500 community-made roses formed the entranceway to the LA Art Show which was on  Jul 29 - Aug 1, 2021. The Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti opened the event, which coincided with the 50 year anniversary of the LA Convention Center in front of the Rose River Memorial.

Art Show Kicks Off 50th Birthday Of LA Convention Center

Rose River memorial Bergamot Parking lot

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.

Video: Rose River Memorial Project.
June 14th 2021.

Video: Angela Kedler, Marked by Covid Activist

Video: Tongva Prayer Song 

Video: L.A. Times Today, Interview of Marcos Lutyens

Video: Rose River Memorial at Hui No'eau, Maui, Hawai'i

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