Laumeier Sculpture Park is hosting an opening reception and dedication on Sunday, March 6 for its installation of “Rose River Memorial”, a grassroots, community art movement led by artist Marcos Lutyens that uses hand-crafted red roses to honor and grieve the many lives lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Laumeier’s installation of the memorial will be located on the outside of the Aronson Fine Arts Center and will reflect on the tens of thousands of lives lost specifically in Missouri. This is the final piece to come on view for Laumeier’s spring exhibition, Salutary Sculpture.
“Rose River Memorial” was initiated in August 2020 and has since been displayed in cities across the country from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. For an installation in Kansas City during the fall of 2021, Lutyens worked with the Girl Scouts of NE Kansas NW Missouri to create 10,000 roses in partnership with Scraps KC, utilizing upcycled and recycled felt when possible. At the time, this number was an approximate representation of the COVID-19 deaths in Missouri. For Laumeier’s installation, the park will use the 10,000 roses created in Kansas City and is working with the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri, Perennial STL and park visitors to make at least another 6,000 roses out of eco felt, a product made from 100 percent recycled plastic bottles.
“It has been an honor for Girl Scouts to contribute to the ‘Rose River Memorial’ display, in remembrance of the many lives lost during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States,” CEO of Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri Bonnie Barczykowski said. “As with so many people across our country, our Girl Scouts and their families have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This project enabled our girls to give back to the community in a very meaningful way. We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Marcos Lutyens, “Rose River Memorial“, and Laumeier Sculpture Park on this very special display.”
The “Rose River Memorial” opening reception is scheduled for March 6 from 11 a.m. – to 1 p.m. It will include a dedication ceremony at 11:30 a.m.
The dedication will be hosted outside in view of the “Rose River Memorial”, weather permitting. Visitors are also invited to make roses throughout the day. A rose-making station will be located inside the Aronson Fine Arts Center from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. as well as in the Kranzberg Education Lab from 11 a.m. – to 1 p.m. Laumeier plans to add additional roses to the installation later this spring.
“‘Rose River Memorial’ is such an important and timely public artwork, and we are so glad to be involved in exhibiting this project by Marcos and helping to contribute to this commemorative sculpture that has such a universal presence,” Dana Turkovic said, curator at Laumeier.
The timing of Laumeier’s opening reception coincides with a proposed national COVID-19 Memorial Day. In collaboration with an organization called Marked By COVID, Arizona Rep. Greg Stanton introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives expressing support for the designation of the first Monday in March to be COVID-19 Victims and Survivors Memorial Day. On Monday, March 7, Marked By COVID will co-host a national COVID Memorial Day Virtual Vigil that will showcase events and programs from across the country, including the “Rose River Memorial” installation at Laumeier.
Learn more about the virtual event.