One thing I like to do this time of year for a respite from the crazy, is take a short spin through a museum or gallery. And, happily, our clutch of art venues on the Shoreline pull out the stops in December. Head to The Florence Griswold Museum for the designer-decked trees in the galleries, but that’s not the only reason to go. In Place, Contemporary Photographers Envision a Museum, is a compelling concept. A select group of artists was asked to focus their lens on the museum (including large scale works by Tina Barney and Kate Cordsen) and the resulting exhibit is thought-provoking. According to curator Amy Kurtz Lansing: “While motifs of art, history, and landscape emerge in the photographers’ works, the variety of their expressions articulates how multifaceted the discipline of photography is today. Visitors will find a range of art, from representational to abstract, from film to video, and from historical to digital processes.” Read more about the exhibit here. Kate Cordsen, Murmurations, 2016. Cyanotype on gessoed Linen. No visit to the Flo Gris is complete without a stop in The Shop and it’s positively overflowing with perfect presents and Christmas ornaments. Find Billie Bead’s famous Xmas Tree Pins, plenty of inspiring toys and games, art books, and these wonderful, intricate wooden miniatures. Save the date for A Little Mermaid’s Seaside Christmastime Crafting Party on December 17th and Art Bar Happy Hour Ornament Crafting on December 15th. View the whole month of events and activities here. Lyman Allyn Museum I am mad for Adrien Broom’s fantastical photographs. She spent weeks (months?) developing the intricate backdrops for this exhibit, A Colorful Dream (main photo above). The three-dimensional installation and large-scale photographs detail a young girl’s journey as she rediscovers all the colors of the rainbow. But what’s even better, you can step right into a set (holiday card anyone?) and you AND your kids will love ogling these works of an extremely imaginative artist. (Through January 8th). While you’re there, make sure to see Joe Standart’s revisit of his seminal work, The New London Project, 10th Anniversary Portraits. These mammoth photographs of his subjects ten years later are riveting. And the freshly renovated gallery for Lyman Allyn’s permanent collection, American Perspectives, celebrates the arts of America from colonial times through the 20th century and gives context to the regional works through thematic groupings. Find the calendar of events here.