Rose River Memorial coming to Orange County Museum of Art

Los Angeles-based artist Marcos Lutyens
Los Angeles-based artist Marcos Lutyens will be bringing an installation called Rose River Memorial to the Orange County Museum of Art.
(Courtesy of Marcos Lutyens)

The coronavirus pandemic has subjected people to one test after another, not the least of which has been the emotional toll of feeling cut off from others and indeed the harsh reality of many lives lost.

Coming soon to the Orange County Museum of Art will be an installation that is designed to provide a feeling of community and offer an opportunity to grieve together.

An Orange County Rose River Memorial, which will be created by Los Angeles-based artist Marcos Lutyens, will utilize handmade roses and suspend them in a net. The roses are meant to memorialize those lives lost due to the virus, and once brought together, they will symbolize the area’s collective grieving.

“I think what’s interesting about this Rose River Memorial is working with grief, almost as a medium, and helping people work through it,” Lutyens said. “[It] is very important for the project and also gratifying when one sees that process happening and helping contribute to people being able to process what’s happened and move on.”

The public can participate by picking up a kit from the museum’s temporary location, 1661 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, this weekend between the hours of 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.

A virtual workshop with Lutyens will be held on Feb. 13, at 11 a.m. Once members of the public have created their roses, the museum will collect them at the same location from Feb. 18 to Feb. 21.

The exhibit is expected to include a total rose count that is commensurate with the death toll in the county. Cassandra Coblentz, the museum’s senior curator and director of public engagement, said an important part of the project is that it recognizes the scale of grief at this time.

“It’s definitely such a challenging thing, and I think whether we’ve been directly affected by it or not, there’s this sense of scale that is really hard to wrap your head around,” Coblentz said. “When you think about each of those lives that have been lost, there’s the families around that, [increasing] exponentially, those people who are suffering or grieving in that way.”

The installation will be on display March 1 to 7 outside of the Orange County Museum of Art. Those visiting the museum are asked to wear a mask and practice social distancing.

The Rose River Memorial is the latest way Lutyens has explored feelings during the pandemic. When virus-related shutdowns occurred at the onset of the pandemic, he said he conducted a series of hypnosis sessions once a week over Zoom.

“There was a big audience, and it was very gratifying,” Lutyens said. “I kind of felt that people, it helped structure their week and get through this feeling of anxiety.”

Orange County reported 30 more deaths due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, in data released Friday by the Orange County Health Care Agency.

The pandemic’s death toll rose to 3,279 in the county. There were also 1,028 cases reported, taking the cumulative case count to 236,338.

Hospitalizations resulting from a bout with the virus are at 1,233, with 342 of those cases being treated in intensive care units.

An additional 15,006 tests for the virus were reported, taking the total number of tests administered to date to 2,748,226.

The healthcare agency estimates that 195,526 people in the county have made a recovery after contracting the virus.

Here are the latest cumulative coronavirus case counts and COVID-19 deaths for select cities in Orange County:

  • Santa Ana: 42,658 cases; 577 deaths
  • Anaheim: 39,463 cases; 604 deaths
  • Huntington Beach: 9,655 cases; 154 deaths
  • Costa Mesa: 8,274 cases; 90 deaths
  • Irvine: 9,526 cases; 55 deaths
  • Newport Beach: 3,406 cases; 55 deaths
  • Fountain Valley: 3,197 cases; 53 deaths
  • Laguna Beach: 747 cases; fewer than five deaths

Here are the case counts by age group, followed by deaths:

  • 0 to 17: 24,170 cases; one death
  • 18 to 24: 32,764 cases; six deaths
  • 25 to 34: 47,444 cases; 36 deaths
  • 35 to 44: 36,987 cases; 72 deaths
  • 45 to 54: 37,954 cases; 215 deaths
  • 55 to 64: 29,641 cases; 433 deaths
  • 65 to 74: 14,792 cases; 628 deaths
  • 75 to 84: 7,418 cases; 779 deaths
  • 85 and older: 5,014 cases; 1,109 deaths

Updated figures are posted daily at Information on the COVID-19 vaccine in Orange County can be found at

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