River Blues

Penelope Dullaghan is an artist and illustrator based in Indianapolis. She works in children’s publishing, editorial, and advertising. In her work she employs a range of mediums, including printmaking, paint, and cut paper.

For her Zócalo Sketchbook, Dullaghan imagines five phantasmagoric river towns—from a row of houses built along a river full of rowers to a lunar colony to a city comprising the shell of a World Turtle. Of her Sketchbook, Dullaghan tells Zócalo, “I’ve been watching too many nature documentaries lately that all present evidence that humans are overstepping their bounds with …

You Really Should Be Having a Glacier-Induced Meltdown

The COVID Lockdown and My Work Studying These Rapidly Diminishing Sheets of Ice Proves We Can Prevent the Worst of Climate Change

We’ve all heard the tragic stories of glaciers in peril: pieces of ice, the size of continents, breaking off of Antarctica or melting away in the Arctic Ocean near the …

What Can We Learn From the Failings of William Mulholland? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

What Can We Learn From the Failings of William Mulholland?

The 'Father of Los Angeles' Was a Link in a Chain of Theft and Loss—And Its Consequences Ripple Into the Present

For much of my life I have been in conversation with a man who died 86 years ago.  He was born in Dublin in 1855 and grew up poor, with …

Colorado River water

When the Colorado River Runs Dry

A Coachella Valley Farmer Reflects on the Water Source He, His Date Palms, and People and Animals Across California Rely On

Even as she was going blind, my mom, ever the poet, delighted in sitting out among the palms and birds, and enjoying and visualizing the scene, as I irrigated my …

Californians Need a New Political Party That Can Keep Us Afloat | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Californians Need a New Political Party That Can Keep Us Afloat

Forget Democrats and Republicans. Real Change Requires Fresh Ideology

I got one of those calls again—they come every six months or so—from a Silicon Valley hotshot who wants to use his brain and his wealth to fix what ails …

From Bakersfield, You Can See Forever | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

From Bakersfield, You Can See Forever

A Panoramic View From a Kern County Park Shows the Convergence of California's Past, Present, and Future

From the tunnel view of Yosemite Valley to just about any glimpse of the Golden Gate, California is famous for its extraordinary vistas. But if you’re looking for the state’s …