The Heartbreakers

Painted ceramic hearts. Photo provided by Laura Mongiovi.

By Kathryn Hennessy

To honor a lost family member, an Art professor is filling the Kenan Plaza ceramic hearts that will be for sale on Valentine’s Day to raise money for the American Heart Association. 

Buy one for your Valentine and insert a secret note. If your Valentine wishes to read the note they will have to smash the heart.

Laura Mongiovi, a professor in the Art and Design department at Flagler College has been creating these ceramic hearts with her students for about 4 years. 

Students selling ceramic hearts outside of Kenan Hall on Valentine’s day 2021. Photos provided by Laura Mongiovi.

She was inspired by a personal loss that occurred 25 years ago.

“My dad passed away from heart disease at 59. He was really young. But since then, because of all the research that the American Heart Association does, he would be alive,” said Mongiovi.

She started this event to bring awareness on the importance of supporting medical research.

The American Heart Association has funded discoveries in the first implantable pacemakers and artificial heart valves, according to

Ceramic hearts before and after being painted and glazed. Photo provided by Laura Mongiovi.

“Unless you yourself, or someone you know has heart disease or breast cancer, most people are usually not aware of the research that has been completed,” said Mongiovi.

Students and volunteers craft these hearts each year. Deborah Arbizzani, a supporter of the Flagler College art department, has donated her time and artistic skills in crafting intricate designs onto the ceramic hearts. 

The ceramic hearts will be available for one to ten dollars from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. on Feb 14th in the Kenan Plaza. 

The 2023 Heartbreakers poster. Provided by Laura Mongiovi.
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