Introducing the Newest Staten Island Museum Exhibition: Vulnerable Landscapes

Vulnerable Landscapes is a new Staten Island Museum exhibition, launching just in time for Earth Day. The exhibition depicts the harsh reality of one of the more vulnerable boroughs in terms of climate change: Staten Island.

The man, the myth, the legend: James Vincent Brice

Okay, here is some backstory.

I first heard about Vulnerable Landscapes through my best friend, James Vincent Brice, since his installation on coastal resiliency and climate change is featured in the exhibition.

James Vincent Brice, Staten Island Museum Vulnerable LandscapesI won’t pretend I am not biased, since James and I go way back (14 years and counting?!), but besides from being one of the smartest people I know, James also has one of the most unique career paths out there.

First off, he’s currently in graduate school studying at freaking Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he’s going after a dual Master of Architecture (MArch) and Master of Science (SM) in Civil and Environmental Engineering. He also not only has a BS in Applied Physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) under his belt, but he has actual professional experience working as both a zookeeper and an aquarist.

As a kid, I knew him as an incredible singer, math geek, and artist. And frankly, in a way that just seems straight-up fated, his artsy side and his, well, nerdy side, mesh together perfectly now for his latest focus: design, engineering, and ecological conservation. In his own words, he is exploring “how biophysically and socially informed design can positively impact coastal communities through research into nature-based adaptation, environmental fluid mechanics, and urban ecosystems.”

Here’s James in his element, educating young children on how investing in oyster reefs is a better focus than building sea walls when it comes to protecting vulnerable landscapes from the effects of climate change:

And what does James hope people take away from this exhibition?

“It’s important that we begin to see human influence as a positive force in the environment – asking what we can do to improve the health of the ecosystems we’re a part of. Climate change is going to dramatically impact our coastlines in a lot of ways; being prepared for that change means leveraging the inherent physical and ecological resilience of the natural environment: designing coastal adaptation that does more than accommodate but actively works for and works with coastal ecosystems.” – James Vincent Brice

Introducing Staten Island Museum Vulnerable LandscapesDid I just brag about my best friend for several paragraphs? Yes. Does he deserve every word? Also, yes.

Check out more of James’ work HERE!


What to expect from Vulnerable Landscapes

Vulnerable Landscapes features a variety of artworks and projects that focus on the undeniably precarious state of Staten Island’s natural environment, including initiatives such as the Billion Oyster Project, NYC H2OLiving Breakwaters: SCAPE, and works by the following bright minds:

James Vincent Brice, Nate Dorr, Sarah Nelson Wright & Edrex Fontanilla, and Nataki Hewling.

HERShot students: Madison Davis, Alexandria Anderson, Savannah Washington, Soojin Yoonsmith), Nathan Kensinger, Michael McWeeney, Beryl Thurman, and Sarah Yuster.

The exhibition also features paintings from the Museum’s collection by Diana Horowitz and Amer Kobaslija.

Introducing Staten Island Museum Vulnerable LandscapesAdditionally, pay a visit to the Elizabeth Egbert Gallery to see reinterpreted works that explore the changing landscape of Staten Island through art. The exhibition is called “Staten Island: SEEN,” and it presents works by artists such as Paul Caranicas, Cynthia Mailman, and Bill Murphy, which highlight the contrast between the urban and rural aspects of Staten Island’s character. Overall, the exhibitions aim to raise awareness about the fragility of the island’s natural landscape and the need for continued efforts to preserve it.


Vulnerable Landscapes is located at the Staten Island Museum at Snug Harbor:
1000 Richmond Terrace, Building A, Staten Island, New York 10301


RSVP HERE for the public opening on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22nd, from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm.

And don’t worry! The exhibition will be at the Staten Island Museum through December 2023, so you have plenty of time to buy tickets HERE and check everything out.

Gemma Lolos

Social Media Manager, City Pulse Editor + Staff Writer

Gemma Lolos is a fiercely proud native New Yorker who is devoted to the arts in all its many forms. She loves to sing and listen to music, read great literature, experience inspiring theatre and film, and stream addictive television. She works full-time as a Marketing professional in New York City and does freelance writing on the side. In her free time, Gemma tries to immerse herself in the New York arts scene as much as possible, eat great food, and travel whenever she is able.