Visualization of the finished installation in the countryside


Our Story

The Rose River Memorial project began in August 2020 as the inspiration of artist Marcos Lutyens. The support of many organizations and individuals is transforming the project into a movement that is powered by leaders and volunteers. The core team of the project has included Dr. Tilly Hinton who helped start the project, which is now is spearheaded by Marcos Lutyens, E.T., Claudia Huiza (original launch ambassador), Edith Romero, Julia Johnston and the extra special support of Marisa Caichiolo, and Petra Eiko of Building Bridges Art Exchange


The red felt rose design was tested and refined by Allison Saunders.


Marcos Lutyens

is a Los Angeles based artist whose work has been shown at the Guggenheim, MoMA, LACMA, the Royal Academy of Arts, the National Art Museum of China, the Pompidou in Paris, Miró Foundation, the Frye Museum, as well as biennales in Liverpool, Istanbul, Havana, and Venice. He has worked with diverse groups of people around the world investigating consciousness. His artistic practice targets the psychic and emotional well-being of audiences by inviting participants into meditative experiences that affect the deepest levels of their psyche.




Claudia Huiza

Rose River Memorial is being created

rose by rose,

by you

and all fellow

rose makers.

It will take a nation to create this artwork.

The COVID death toll in the United States has climbed to way over half a million people.

This last year has been a year no-one could have imagined: a global pandemic, economic decimation, heroic medical and other frontline workers, months-long lockdowns with no end in sight, so many fellow Americans dead, and that toll still rising. This loss is quiet, with whispered goodbyes on Facetime as family members are not allowed to visit hospitals, and funerals via Zoom because gathering together could take more lives.

This cannot go unnoticed.

So many hundreds of thousands of people have passed away isolated from their own families and loved ones. They have slipped away from us out of our view, unseen. They deserve better, and so does the nation they leave behind.

We're creating a community artwork to collectively grieve as a nation.

Picture this: Handcrafted red felt roses are placed in undulating rows in a stunning outdoor location, one rose for each life taken. This artwork will represent the enormity of the loss from the COVID-19 crisis. The memorial becomes a focus for all of us to mourn and heal.

Roses have been used throughout history in many cultures and religions to symbolize the passing of the spirit, to mourn the dead, and seek solace. The rose is the official floral emblem of the United States, and it is customary for red roses to feature in funerals, often arranged en masse atop the casket.

Rose River is a casket for the nation, a river of roses to show respect and to grieve.

This artwork is made by you.

We're inviting you to build this artwork by making beautiful felt roses following our simple pattern. How many we all make determines how soon the artwork is created. Let's build this river, together.

Ready to get started?

It's as easy as making some roses and mailing them to the Rose River Team! You can purchase kits from us or make a donation, join our mailing list, follow us on Instagram, and share this project with everyone you know.