Forgotten Landscapes of California

Saturday Apr 13 2019   2:00 PM
Sonoma Community Center  276 E Napa St, Sonoma, CA  map

A State of Change author-illustrator Laura Cunningham will discuss what northern California was like before European contact: giant grizzlies, condors, salmon runs, and herds of elk. She will also discuss the processes that shape California, such as climate, flood, and fire, that are becoming ever more important as Californians grapple with how to live in the ever-changing Golden State. She will show what cities were like a thousand years ago in her oil paintings, what prairies, oak woodlands, sea coasts, and the Sierra Nevada were like long ago. Join Laura for an artistic tour of California’s amazing natural heritage of the past, and what we might expect into the future. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

$5 general admission; free for Sonoma Valley Historical Society members and docents.

Laura CunninghamLaura Cunningham, an artist and naturalist, studied paleontology and biology at the University of California, Berkeley, and has worked at various field biology jobs for the California Department of Fish and Game, the U.S. Geological Survey, and other organizations, getting to know such species as the Owens Valley pupfish, the southern California steelhead trout, the Yosemite toad, and the Panamint alligator lizard. Simultaneously, she has been studying and painting California’s historic and living wildlife, flora, and unique landscapes. She lives near Death Valley National Park, where she cofounded the group Basin and Range Watch to explore the historical ecology of the desert ecosystems of California and Nevada, and to protect them. Visit her blog at

Photo by Kevin Emmerich