Rose River Memorial at Building Bridges Art Exchange
December 12 - March 22 2020
Rose River Memorial opened an installation of a COVID-19 memorial at Bergamot Station on the Westside of Los Angeles. We partnered with Building Bridges Art Exchange, which hosted the opening reception and exhibition. The virtual opening was December 12th at 2 PM PST. The exhibit ran from December 12th until March 22
Building Bridges Art Exchange hosts a compelling installation that acknowledges each life taken by COVID-19 on the Westside of Los Angeles.
The Westside installation, on display in the main gallery of Building Bridges Art Exchange offers visitors an opportunity to grieve by contemplating a wall of roses while listening to music by celebrated Los Angeles based composer Yuval Ron and taking solace in a meditative induction that complements the Rose River Memorial project.
The installation contained approximately 400 roses, made by volunteers across the country, remembering each Westside death from Malibu south to El Segundo, and east to La Cienega Boulevard. This builds on an inaugural installation that is still on view at Self Help Graphics, in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, and which memorializes those lost to COVID-19 on the Eastside. Over 3 months the installation grew to 4,000 locally made roses.
“For this Westside memorial, our goal is to include as many locally handmade roses as possible, to deeply engage the community with this act of collective grief,” said Rose River memorial's co-founder Marcos Lutyens. “People who make roses tell us that it brings them great comfort and peace in these difficult days. Family members who are grieving are comforted by this idea of strangers recognizing and remembering the enormity of this pandemic in such a beautiful way.”
Building Bridges Art Exchange and Rose River Memorial have been asking locals to help build the Memorial. Roses are made with felt and glue following instructions in English and Spanish. Thanks to generous donations from Building Bridges Art Exchange board members rose making kits were available for free. They were distributed last week to the Westside community, and roses made by them have been returned to be integrated into the installation.
The project became possible through a grant from the City of Santa Monica Art of Recovery Program .
The reception included a Tongva land acknowledgement and blessing by Tina Calderon, thoughts and reflections by Carolyn Freyer-Jones, founder of #thefridayminute, and a muscial performance by Yuval Ron, world-renowned musician, composer, educator, peace activist and record producer.