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Sanda Cook puts paintings and photographs side by side at the Majestic

Sanda Cook with three pairs of a painting and a photograph each at the Majestic Cafe.
Sanda Cook with three pairs of a painting and a photograph each at the Majestic Cafe.
Alonso del Arte

Her skill as a painter has been known to Detroit art connoisseurs for at least a couple of years now. But only more recently has there been an increasing awareness of Sanda Cook's skill as a photographer, strengthened by her current show at the Majestic Cafe, titled Side by Side, showcasing both her paintings and her photos, with one particular set of three paintings and three photographs showing three subjects in both media.

"Painting gives me the freedom to express my emotions, photography is more a play on the capture of a moment," Cook explained. But "she's very good at adapting the image to her mood," said Victor Pytko, an artist who has also exhibitied at the Majestic Cafe. "She goes beyond what the camera captures," methodically adjusting color balance and contrast as she edits her photos, Pytko said.

When Billy Hunter from the Majestic Cafe offered Cook a show, he had only seen her paintings, at the YMCA downtown back in January. Cook first exhibited her photographs last year. Then, in February of this year, she participated in a group show at Corktown Studios titled Capture: A Dialogue Between Paintings and Photographs, which she acknowledges gave her the idea for the current show. In that show she participated as both painter and photographer in collaboration with other painters and photographers. For example, she did a photo of a bar scene based on Lisa Poszywak's painting Dark Potentials.

Earlier tonight at the Majestic Cafe, Cook's boyfriend, renowned art connoisseur Skip Davis, helped Cook tweak the placement of the pieces as the cafe's staff prepared hors d'oeuvres for the reception. The show will be up at least until August 17, according to the event's Facebook page.