Community Voices

Friends and Neighbors: Artist survives breast cancer, donates paintings to Sylvester Center

Cancer survivor Bonnie Robinson Angueira’s latest large-scale artwork will be featured in a one-woman show at the Wirtz Gallery during the January SOMI Art Walk.
Cancer survivor Bonnie Robinson Angueira’s latest large-scale artwork will be featured in a one-woman show at the Wirtz Gallery during the January SOMI Art Walk. Provided to the Miami Herald

When artist Bonnie Robinson Angueira was strong enough after treatments for breast cancer, she thanked her doctors at University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center with a special donation—her paintings of butterflies.

The Butterfly Series now hangs where patients wait. The pieces are named Love, Joy, Purity, Courage, Soul, Calm, Abundance, Heal and Survivor. For Robinson Angueira, they represent the transformative power of healing through struggle.

“As a cancer patient, I understand that struggles are natural in life. Cancer patients are not deprived of struggle; however we can deal with our struggles by choosing to believe in the transformative power of our thoughts,” she said in her presentation to her doctors.

Robinson Angueira, who holds a master of fine arts degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a bachelor of arts degree from Southern Methodist University, has been invited to present her latest work in a one-woman show at the prestigious Wirtz Gallery at 1st National Bank, 5750 Sunset Dr. in South Miami.

A meet-the-artist reception is scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. Jan. 8, during the SOMI Art Walk. Admission is free and the show will run Jan. 4 through 29.

Merchandise proceeds from the sale of Bonnie Robinson Fine Art cards and books will go toward autism education programs, she said.

“My artwork expresses my experiences and desires in naturalistic and feminine forms,” she said in an email. Her most recent works for the upcoming show explore a spiritual world “of subjective landscapes through the utilization of iconic images in nature.”

The Where the Earth Meets the Sky artworks are large-scale acrylic paintings on Plexiglas that light from behind, as well as mixed media on paper.

You can learn more about Robinson Angueira’s artistic process and her other outreach work through her new website at


Students pursuing degrees in culinary arts can get financial help through a recent scholarship donation from the Coconut Grove Arts and Historical Association.

The $5,000 gift was presented at Miami Dade College for the Miami Culinary Institute and the Miami International Hospitality Center at MDC.

The Coconut Grove Arts and Historical Association produces the annual Coconut Grove Arts Festival. Arts Festival President Monty Trainer presented the check at Tuyo restaurant in the college’s downtown Wolfson Campus.

Among those attending were Lilia Garcia, past chair of the Art Festival; Jack Eads, past chair of the Arts Festival; Mark Cole, executive director of Miami Dade College Foundation; José A. Vicente, president of Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus; Shelly Smith Fano, Miami International Hospitality Center Chair; and Chef Collen Engle, Miami Culinary Institute’s Culinary Chair.

The funds will help provide assistance to students pursuing a two-year associate in science degree in culinary arts management, which includes hands-on instruction by some of the world’s best chefs.

The nonprofit Coconut Grove Arts and Historical Association is involved in year-round arts programs and also maintains the Gallery @ CGAF with special exhibitions throughout the year at the Mayfair in the Grove. Since 1963, the association has awarded hundreds of scholarships to students who attend fine arts programs in local schools. For more, visit


Get out to hear great speakers and learn about events especially for seniors through the Gray Panthers of South Dade. The group’s next monthly meeting will be at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 16 at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Miami, 7701 SW 76th Ave.

The program will be on violence in Miami and the speakers will be Miami-Dade Assistant State Attorney David Maer and state attorney’s office investigator Eric Figueroa.

The Gray Panthers is a national organization with local chapters. It was founded in 1970 by Margaret E. “Maggie” Kuhn, who built the group into a powerful force dedicated to social justice for older and young people with a focus on age discrimination, especially for seniors.

To learn more, visit for the latest events.

If you have news for this column, please send it to Christina Mayo at