Artist Debbie Mostel Turned “Hearts of Mirasol” Sculpture Into Major Fundraising Opportunity For Local Charities In Palm Beach County

Today, the Winter Solstice is known as “the darkest day of the year”. What better time to celebrate artist Debbie Mostel? Her “Hearts of Mirasol” Sculpture has brought hundreds of thousands of dollars to local charities in Palm Beach County. Let’s celebrate the light that she brings to the community!  The Rickie Report shares the behind-the-scenes photos, details and an interview with Debbie Mostel.



Debbie Mostel’s



“Hearts    of    Mirasol”    Sculpture




“Hearts of Mirasol” sculpture by Debbie Mostel


Debbie Mostel is a multi-talented artist who has won numerous awards with her sculptures and designs and whose jewelry has been worn by celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, January Jones, Laverne Cox, Christie Brinkley, Patti LaBelle, Emily Blunt and many others. Yet something she always wanted to do was to turn her love of art – sculptures, in particular – into a powerful way to raise substantial funds for charitable organizations.



Debbie Mostel and Valerie Crosson


Valerie Crosson had a great track record for commissioning fantastic, large, highly visible sculptures that help raise millions of dollars for charitable causes. Following her previous success with the UNICEF Snowflake, which hangs in Manhattan above 5th Avenue at 57th Street, she joined The Mirasol Foundation board for 2020-21.  With guidance from the Palm Beach Cultural Council, Valerie contacted 7 regional artists – including Debbie Mostel – and issued a Request for Proposals to create a piece with “hanging hearts” to help reunite the residents of the Mirasol community, many of whom felt disconnected due to social gathering restrictions due to COVID.


Valerie and Debbie found a bond and similarities in their vision for the piece. Valerie recommended Debbie and the board approved. Then Debbie spent six months working on the sculpture. Debbie said she was “driven by the importance of giving back to our local community affected by Covid – and giving the Mirasol community a legacy sculpture that would renew that sense of oneness every time it was viewed.” It is now a permanent installation in the entrance of the Club.



The idea was to use “hanging hearts” as a centerpiece for a major fundraising effort – largely because the onset of the COVID pandemic made traditional fundraising methods impractical.



Initial Drawings for “Hearts of Mirasol” by Debbie Mostel



Putting   It   Together….

Top: Five 1’’ thick, 6’ wide, 5’ tall furniture-grade laser cut Lucite make up the “Tree/Wave”

Middle: The garden has 149 clear hand-blown glass nautilus and spheroid forms; the beginnings of all life.

Bottom: 850 Czechoslovakian cut crystal hearts in 7 layers in the form of an electrocardiogram with a big M for Mirasol in the center.

The sculpture is in a state of perpetual illumination, which you can’t help but be drawn into its tranquil beauty.




Debbie Mostel working with glass components for “Hearts of Mirasol” Sculpture


On the finished work, each of the 850 hearts represents an individual donor and the amounts donated varied from $150 up to $5000; a total in the hundreds of thousands of dollars was raised. Once it was unveiled, Valerie said the piece is a “great success, connecting people at a time when we couldn’t be together” and raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to benefit area charities.



Debbie Mostel working on the structure for “Hearts of Mirasol” Sculpture





A video on the building of the sculpture can be seen on Debbie Mostel’s website:





Close-up of 850 Czechoslovakian cut crystal hearts in 7 layers in the form of an electrocardiogram with a big ‘M’ for Mirasol in the center.



Q   &   A   with   Debbie   Mostel


Q: Who are some of your favorite artists?

D.M.:  H.C. Westerman ( Humor and moral commentary), Frida Kahlo ( Honesty), Georgia O’Keeffe (Sensual examination of Nature), Beth Lipman (She is brave), Everything at Burning Man, and Keith Haring (Everything).


Q: What inspired you for your Hearts of Mirasol design?

D.M.: While talking with Valerie Crosson (director of fundraising and Chair of the Hearts of Mirasol Campaign), we spoke of the core values concerning the project, the importance of giving back to our local community affected by Covid and giving the Mirasol community a legacy sculpture that would renew that sense of oneness every time it was viewed. (It is now a permanent installation in the entrance of the Club!) 


She just asked me to design something with 450 to 850 hearts that would represent the donors to the piece. That was it. I thought about how living in Palm Beach County we all have a connection to the ocean, our beaches, our hurricanes, the rising tides… you can’t trivialize the relationship. Then I thought about the “Tree of Life,” windblown – like on the California coast – and combining it with a wave felt utterly compelling.  The piece is a triptych.  The “Heartbeat of Mirasol” was an inspiration that took 6 months to build.



Debbie Mostel’s Design in progress 


Q: What is your driving passion in making your art designs? Is there any reason you choose one medium over another? 

D.M.: I would have to say light and emotion. All my work has a message of humor, nature, ecology, or human experiences. I love working with ancient and futuristic components, the contrast and conversion, especially with metal and glass.


Q: What is a piece of art you want to make that is on your bucket list?

D.M.: I have no bucket list except to keep exploring and growing as an artist and a human…sounds corny but true.


Q: You clearly love the theme of water. Where did that come from and how do you communicate your passion for that in your works of art?

D.M.: Growing up on the ocean on Eastern Long Island, a crowded day you could spot 20 people as far as you could see! I would be in my p.j.’s on the beach eating cheerios. I loved the solitude. I could walk or swim for miles without seeing a soul. I was fearless (and naive). Up with the sunrise, taking note of tides and horseshoe crabs, sea glass and shells. I started making art on the beach with what washed ashore at a very young age.



Close-up of “The Garden” area of Debbie Mostel’s sculpture


All Photos courtesy of  Richard McConnell





About      Debbie      Mostel:





Debbie Mostel at The Breakers

Debbie Lee Mostel, a longtime resident of Palm Beach Gardens, is a designer/artist who is also a science-based thinker and who sees wonder in every drop of water and every blade of grass. It is this sense of curiosity that Debbie thrives on, exploring new mediums and continually growing as an artist. Debbie’s career has incorporated painting, contemporary fine art, sculpture, jewelry design, and kinetics! 


During a charmed 15-year career as a fashion jewelry designer, retailers such as Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom carried some of her designs and Debbie’s designs were featured in publications such as The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.



Debbie Mostel at International Kinetic Art Exhibit and Symposium , 2019



After Debbie took time off to raise her son the urge to create beckoned and she went back to college for landscape design and a new career. But working in the gardens pulled her back to her roots as a sculptor, painter, and jewelry design. 


Her national recognition is underscored by artist and writer, Bruce Helander, who said, “Mostel takes the viewer on an anything-goes journey.” Debbie’s artistry has been recognized internationally and nationally in juried exhibitions with three Best in Show awards, four First Place awards, and numerous other awards. 


In between these exhibits, Debbie worked for Tom Matthews, an event planner in Palm Beach, as their Resident Artist, creating hanging light sculptures in Mar a Lago and Mosaic topiaries for the Surf Club as well as creating special environments for the Flagler Museum, Breakers, Brazilian Court and Colony Hotel. The Norton Museum of Art has featured Debbie in their Art After Dark series. She had been a member of the National Association of Women Artists (NAWA), Lighthouse ArtCenter, The Cultural Council of Palm Beach County and Artists of Palm Beach County. 




Debbie Mostel






  • The sculpture is one of a kind and was designed and created by Debbie Lee Mostel, with support from Globadyne Production and Design. The “Hearts of Mirasol” sculpture is 6’ wide, 16” deep and 8’ high. It features a dramatic 5’ tall tree blowing in the wind, forming the crest of a Florida ocean wave also evoking the form of The Tree of Life – thus, a cresting willow.


  • The Tree of Life sits in a garden where 140 hand blown nautilus shapes emerge like crocus flowers in early Spring, representing the natural landscaping of Mirasol.


  • The base of the sculpture features 850 hanging Svarovski and Czechoslovakian cut crystal hearts in the form of an EKG, the heartbeat of the community of Mirasol. Each heart represents the donors.


  • Although very subdued, the heartbeat forms an /M’ for The Mirasol Foundation. Scattered throughout the piece are 26 iridescent hearts which represent the higher-level donors and one very special light blue heart, which represents the management and staff of Mirasol and the Mirasol Foundation. Special recognition goes to Valerie Crosson, whose vision is an integral part of this design.




The Mirasol Foundation, Inc. is a volunteer charitable organization established, directed, and supported by the residents of Mirasol in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. The mission of The Mirasol Foundation is to raise, administer and distribute funds to civic, cultural, educational, social and health-related non-profit, section 501(C)(3) organizations in Palm Beach County and surrounding communities. More information about the foundation can be found on their website,




Special thanks to Ed Katz of Katnip Marketing, LLC for coordinating the press release and photos for this article.

o: 561.284.6027/m: 203.727.8664


For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher   561-537-0291

17019 SW Sapri Way   Port St. Lucie, FL 34986

Sculptor, Kinetic Creator, And Fine Artist Debbie Lee Mostel Shares Her Quirky New “Wonder Sponge” Bringing Delight To Our Chores

Debbie Lee Mostel is a science-based thinker/designer/artist who sees wonder in every drop of water and behind every blade of grass.  Her awards for kinetic designs, art-in-public places commissions, forward-looking  jewelry, sculptures, and paintings all point to her drive for innovation. Her inventive nature and lack of tolerance for wastefulness has culminated in “Debbie’s Wonder Sponge”!  Debbie shows us how to take the drudgery out of cleaning up a mess by adding her unique twist of creativity.  The Rickie Report shares the details and photos here while we marvel at this serious artist’s unending capacity for joy, humor and practicality!






Debbie Lee Mostel’s training with master goldsmith Ellen Broker and master silversmith Hans Christensen of Denmark gave her the base for transforming her creative ideas into solid businesses. Early in Debbie’s career, after a stint at Tiffany’s, she formed her own company. Her work in the wholesale jewelry business brought her acclaim with designs being carried by Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Henri Bendel, and Saks Fifth Avenue. Her jewelry was seen in many Richard Avedon fashion photographs. Debbie has sold her one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry (many made from lamp worked glass she created) at the prestigious juried Annual Palm Beach Fine Craft Show.




Debbie Lee Mostel’s Wonder Sponges!




Debbie tells The Rickie Report, “I’m the type of artist/designer that thrives on exploring new mediums. Like the shark…I have to keep moving. My formal education started with Metal and Glass, decades later I found myself in a fruitful career of painting and sculpture as well.  My sense of curiosity is what I thrive on, exploring new mediums and continually growing as an artist”.










TRR:  Your formal education (BFA California College of the Arts and Pratt Institute in New York) began in metal and glass, under the tutelage of glass visionary Marvin Lipofsky (student of Harvey Littleton) and included workshops with Dale Chihuly. You have a fruitful career that has incorporated painting, sculpture, and kinetics! Most of us know you as a fine artist who has garnered awards and accolades to fill albums.  What brought you to designing a sponge?


So remember that floor mop in the form of slippers? Good concept but ugly and inconvenient. Enter my beautiful sloppy dog named Lucky. He drinks from his bowl, slobbers down his chin, drips all over the house and looks at me, and says “Mom help, I’m a mess. My face is wet, the floor is an embarrassment, what can you do?” After years of exhaustingly wasting paper towels, bending, and wiping,  I thought of that slipper and said to myself “ I can design something better. Something easy to use, cost-effective, and aesthetically appealing”.



Debbie Lee Mostel’s Wonder Sponges!



TRR:  Taking spinning VCR motors, trap doors, wind-up toys, and even a Slinky, you caught the attention of Tom Shadyac, director of many Jim Carey movies with one of your Globe series.  Please take us through your process with these sponges.




After months of trial and error, I came up with Debbie’s Wonder Sponge. Friends and neighbors all wanted one (or two), so I introduced the Sponge at trade shows where I exhibit my Designer Jewelry. When I demonstrated the sponges on a piece of linoleum, they started flying out the door!








TRR: In between exhibits, you worked for Tom Matthews, an event planner in Palm Beach as their Resident Artist creating hanging light sculptures at Mar a Lago and mosaic topiaries for the Surf Club. You’ve created specialty environments for the Flagler Museum, Breakers, Brazilian Court, and Colony Hotel, to name a few. Debbie’s Wonder Sponges ARE clever and pretty.  How have people reacted?





The only complaint I’ve gotten so far is that some people think they are too pretty to get dirty. Nonsense! It’s functional art.  Now customers are buying 6 or 8 at a time to give as gifts.

Debbie’s Wonder Sponge! “You’ll wonder how you lived without it!”

Don’t waste money on paper towels for all those little clean-up needs.

Machine wash and dry. Handpainted with acrylic fabric paint so will NEVER run, fade or crack.

A functional piece of little art that helps you enjoy a happy, healthy home.

Leave it by the sink for a quick cleanup of water spots then spray a little disinfectant on the counter and WOOSH…happy and healthy.

Leave it on the floor, step on it and PUSH!!!!…water spots and spills instantly gone. From water dispenser to sloppy dog!




Debbie Lee Mostel’s Wonder Sponges!



TRR:  Where are you selling them?

DLM:  On my Etsy site – and shipping is free!



More about Debbie Lee Mostel:

 The Norton Museum of Art has featured Debbie in their Art After Dark series. She is a member of National Association go Women Artists (NAWA), Lighthouse ArtCenter, Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, and Artists of Palm Beach County.







For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher   561-537-0291

17019 SW Sapri Way   Port St. Lucie, FL 34986

Nature and Technology-Based Art Brings Debbie Mostel National Acclaim

The Rickie Report knows the viewer will see Debbie Mostel’s artwork and will be drawn to the fine details as well as the whole piece.  Debbie sees the world through shapes and design.  Her vast knowledge and life-long fascination with science is mirrored in her work.  Celebrate Debbie’s recent prestigious induction into NAWA (National Association of Women Artists) and her debut at Red Dot Miami!

Debbie Mostel’s “A New Monarchy”


Debbie tells us, ” I’m a beach girl.  When I was little I would sit on the dunes and think the crashing waves were “Mother Natures Heartbeat”.  I  remember how motivated  I was to create art after an exquisite performance by lightning or watching the delicate & powerful dance of a butterfly..”


This graduate of the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, N.Y.  and  California College of the Arts, Berkley, CA. Bachelor’s Degree of Fine Arts was a metal major under Florence Resnikoff and a glass minor under Marvin Lipofsky.  Mostel became a Master Goldsmith with Ellen Broker and a Master Silversmith with Hans Christensen in Copenhagen, Denmark.


Alligator Gar at Sunset

As a child, Debbie wanted to become a marine biologist.  Her fascination with science and art were equal influences until her creative nature finally won.  Through that scientific grounding, Mostel gives us fascinating pieces of artwork to peruse and become excited.


A frequent prize winner at the Lighthouse Center for the Arts’ exhibits, Debbie continues to push herself and never rests on past accomplishments.  She was recently inducted into NAWA at their New York City headquarters.  She joins the ranks of other women artists including Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, Judy Chicago, Mary Cassatt, Rosa Bonheur, Susan Valadon, Janet Fishman, Miriam Shapiro, Audry Flack and Claire Romano.  There are over 800 members of NAWA and FLorida is the only area in the U.S. to have a chapter outside of New York City.  Debbie’s mission is to increase NAWA’s reach.

The National Association Of  Women Artists  (NAWA) was founded in 1889.  It is the oldest professional women’s fine arts organization in the United States.  It is inclusive and serves professional women artists of all backgrounds and traditions. It is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization, located at 80 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1405, New York, NY  10011


The Rickie Report asked her to tell us about her newest work.  She explains,” Recently, I’ve developed a fascination for the construct of technology  —  the intricate designs of motherboards, heat coils and  laser pick ups. This came about when my son & his friends were smashing an old transistor radio.  We were fascinated by the “guts”.  Thanks boys, this led to my newest collection……”


Best In Show

She uses objects from the past and the present to showcase the  beauty and relationship between  nature and technology.  Globes play an important role in Debbie’s work and she will use them alongside antique car ornaments, vintage wind up toys, seashells and other natural elements. Together, these create whimsical, mystical paintings that invite the viewer to explore technology and nature in a symbiotic relationship.

Preparing for her debut at Red Dot Miami, Debbie will premiere her newest collection. Debbie’s obsession is integrating weather, technology and art.  She calls her new work “Tornadic Activity”.  


She tells us, “This new collection: ‘Tornadic Activity’ was inspired by watching the weather channel and the tornardic “activity” in all our lives…”.  Each piece speaks to the artistic tornado she brings to her creative self.  Certainly there is weather-based tornadic activity, but Mostel moves beyond the obvious and brings the viewer into its deeper meanings.  Consider interpersonal tornadoes, the upheaval of the earth’s weather patterns, or the inner storms we face on our life’s journeys.


Hindu Tornadic Activity

Debbie shares, ” I do not expect people to see my validity when they look at my artwork.  I want them to see what makes sense to themselves.  I believe there nothing random, that everything we encounter has meaning.  It is up to each of us to discern what that is”.


You can see Debbie’s artwork at Red Dot (December 4-9) during Art Basil in booth C126.   Red Dot Miami is located at 3011 NE 1st Avenue at NE 31st Street  Miami, FL For more information about Debbie Mostel, go to or call  561-779-0030


For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact The Rickie Report at:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

The Rickie Report

P.O.Box 33423

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420