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

Visual, Visceral and Voluminous: Insights into Debbie Mostel’s Art

Describing someone’s artwork is a sensitive matter. While The Rickie Report is not acting as critic, asking an artist to share themselves with our readers takes trust.  We started to share Debbie Mostel’s story in a previous post when she was inducted into NAWA (National Association of Women Artists) in New York City and announced that she would be showing at Red Dot in Miami soon after. The depth of Debbie’s personality and her artwork call for this extended interview.  Debbie’s work will be shown at Solo Exhibition at the Palm Beach Gardens City Hall and again in March at the Palm Beach Fine Craft Show.  Here, she shares her advice to artists and art lovers about maneuvering your way through sizable shows; some tips for artists to network; and some insights into her larger-than-life pieces.

Globe : "Baja Bound"

Globe : “Baja Bound”

Most of Debbie’s work has interactive qualities such as spinning VCR motors, trap doors,wind-up toys and even a pair of Slinky’s!   Tom Shadyac, director of Jim Carey movies and more recently the revered film “I Am”, was presented one of Debbie’s Globes as an appreciation for the message that both director and artist hold in getting the message that “we are all connected”.  Debbie has been a guest demonstrator at the Norton Museum’s Art After Dark, a Best of Show winner twice at the Lighthouse ArtCenter and has numerous newspaper articles written about her. She is a member of the Artists of Palm Beach County

 dlramr in studio 004

TRR: Tell our readers about your experience as an exhibitor at Red Dot in Miami.

DM:  The experience was awesome and I was extremely proud to be part of the show.


Hindu Tornadic Activity

Hindu Tornadic Activity

TRR: What suggestions would you give an artist who has not done such a large show before?

DM:  First, you should scope out each show. Do your homework – this is a business, like any other business trade show.  I believe in “Go Large Or Go Home”.  Let me explain: Once you figure out what show is the best show for YOU, put everything you have into  making it successful.  Don’t skimp or try to cut corners to try to save money.  This isn’t necessarily about selling, though if you do, that is a nice perk.


Once you are committed to a show, you must put in your best work.  Create and print a full catalog.  Invest in good lighting and good quality signage.  I actually added more signage once I arrived at Red Dot and saw what other artists had in addition to what I had already planned.


During the show, have a seat.  Art show-goers don’t like to be followed around in your booth.  Let them know that if they have questions, you are there to help them.  Remember your business cards and postcards!   You have to have the right attitude and stay positive.  You are spending 6 days and long hours to promote your art!  Be professional!


Feeling the Squeeze

Feeling the Squeeze

TRR: What about after the show?


DM:  You MUST follow up with the people who signed your guest book, with other artists you networked with during the show, and gallery owners who stopped by.  This is a lot of WORK!   This year, there were over 27 shows including Red Dot, Art Miami, and Art Basel.  I felt that Red Dot seemed to focus on emerging artists.  In looking at the statistics from 2011, the number of shows has grown. I would expect 2013 to continue to grow annually.  That offers a lot of opportunities to a lot more artists.

TRR: Any advice for the show attendees?

DM:  For art lovers and buyers, you have to pace yourselves because the sheer amount of art work can be overwhelming.  You really need to plan on more than just one day and you still will not see it all!  To avoid having your eyes glaze over from seeing too much art, book a hotel.  Take a break.  Each show has different fees.  Personally, I believe it is hardest for the Gallery owners and Buyers.  They have to look at everything in consideration for their collectors and clients.

Tower of Youth

Tower of Youth

TRR:  When we first met, you were anxious to show me a science-related article.  What types of materials do you enjoy reading?

DM:  I will read anything that has to do with science.  I always read the New York Times, Scientific American and I think that Smithsonian Magazine is the best out there.  National Geographic has engrossing articles, but I also watch a lot of television!  Again, anything science-related, so obviously NOVA, PBS, Science Channel.

I have always been fascinated with how things are made and where something comes from. I enjoy visually stimulating shows like “Orangutan Island”,  underwater series, “Oddities”.  I never know when an idea will spark and where it will lead me!


New Monarchy

New Monarchy

TRR:  Do you ever relax?

DM:  I actually relax when I am playing golf!  I just love how beautiful nature is.  I can really take it all in when I walk my dog before sunset.  My background in landscape design has given me a better appreciation for some of the Audubon areas in Palm Beach County.

TRR: Does your son share your artistic  interests?

DM: Not really.  He loves music and plays drums in a local band, Abolish Oasis.  He wants to go to college to pursue a career in the music business.


Trilobite Surfing

Trilobite Surfing

TRR: What inspires you to create such a breadth of artwork?

 DM: Everything!  Really.  I can be staring a gym ceiling and an idea for a new piece of artwork will pop into my head.  We have to remember why we are artists.  We can tune into the minutia of the every-day and go and create art. The synapses in my brain flip all the time!


Mind Reader

Mind Reader

To see Debbie’s artwork, the public is invited to a reception at Palm Beach Gardens City Hall Lobby on January 18 from 6 – 8 pm.  The building is located at 10500 North Military Trail, Palm Beach Gardens 33410.  Her SOLO exhibit is called “Technology Deconstructed-Nature Reconstructed”.  The exhibit continues through February 21st.  City Hall is open from 8 am – 5 pm Monday through Friday.


Debbie will also be at the 2013 Palm Beach Fine Craft Show from March 1st – 3rd, which takes place at the Palm Beach County Convention Center 650 Okeechobee Blvd. in West Palm Beach.  The Palm Beach Fine Crafts Show is professionally juried to ensure the highest level of excellence and originality in the work presented. Every piece is designed and made in artists’ studios across the U.S.  For more details about Debbie’s work contact: 561-779-0030 or go




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