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CROW volunteer creates logo for 36th Taste of the Islands

By Staff | Oct 11, 2017

Joan Marsh Mikelsons created this year’s logo for the 36th Taste of the Islands. MEGHAN MCCOY

A Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife volunteer created this year’s logo for the 36th Taste of the Islands, complete with incorporating the bike friendly atmosphere of the islands.

“We have a lot of bike trails, and I have done paintings with bicycles and they sell like crazy. So, I figured, especially for Taste of the Islands, this would be kind of cute,” Joan Marsh Mikelsons said.

This year’s logo includes a raccoon pedaling the bicycle with an owl, and opossum. A wagon trails behind filled with other wildlife.

As a young girl, Mikelsons began drawing and won a contest in 6th grade for her painting. Without any training, the artist has perfected her skills throughout the years.

“As soon as I was able to hold a pencil I began to draw. I would see something and I would draw it. I always enjoyed drawing,” she said.


A year and a half ago Mikelsons began donating her time at CROW’s Visitor & Education Center to provide a helping hand in the gift shop. During the summer time she volunteers twice a week, which changes to once a week during the winter months when more volunteers return.

Mikelsons put her drawing skills to work while she was employed for the National Telephone Directory in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

“I did a couple of pieces for the Yellow Pages and they hired me. Two fellows and myself, we did the whole half of the state. We did all the Yellow Pages, all the drawing and lettering,” she said. “The sales men would give me a company’s name and I would design the Yellow Pages ad. I did about 400 pieces a week.”

Her drawings would incorporate such items as hotels, cars and hairdresser ads.

The job held her interest for 18 years, before moving to Sanibel in 1985 as a full-time resident. When she arrived in Southwest Florida she became a realtor with VIP and sold units at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa for about 12 years.

What was work, turned into a hobby when she started painting seven, or eight years ago.

“I always just did drawing for the Yellow Pages,” she said.

Mikelsons uses acrylics, oil and watercolors for her vibrant paintings to create textures within the context of her art.

In addition to painting on canvases, about a year ago, she began incorporating rocks.

“We have a lot of rocks where I live. I saw in the newspaper that there was a little article about rocks with paintings, so I just started,” she said.

A small collection of her wildlife rock paintings are available at CROW.

In addition to volunteering at CROW, Mikelsons also volunteers three days a week at BIG ARTS as a docent for the art gallery and is a member of the Sanibel Captiva Art League. She has had art exhibits at BIG ARTS, as well as the Sanibel Public Library.

This year, the 36th Taste of the Islands will be held from noon. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12, at the Sanibel Community Park.

This year’s live entertainment will be provided by LCEC’s Killa-Watts.

“I have worked in the utility industry for many years and I love this work. At the same time, I love the joy that music brings to people’s lives. When an opportunity to bring the two together came about, I knew it was something that would make a difference,” Band Leader Rusty Snider said in a prepared statement.

The Killa-Watts have shared their talent at little, or no cost to help raise funds for worthy causes.

CROW is seeking volunteers who would like to work three hour shifts before, during and after the event in such areas as set-up/tear down, sales, guest services, rovers and parking.

All volunteers will receive free admission to the event and a volunteer T-shirt. To be considered individuals must fill out a form, which can be found at www.crowclinic.org/downloadable-files/57eec4d1dc0d02791dfac344.pdf, by Friday, Oct. 27.

For more information about becoming a volunteer, call Volunteer Coordinator Robin Miller at volunteers@crowclinic.org, or call (239) 472-3644 ext. 231.

Admission to Taste of the Islands is $7, and free for children age 12 and younger.

CROW Development Director Mary Schoeffel said individuals can save some time and buy online this year, by visiting www.crowclinic.org.

In addition to admission, individuals can also purchase CROW Bucks, which are used the day of the event, online. Both can be picked up at will call the day of the event.

New this year is the appearance from CROW’s animal ambassadors, as well as abbreviated programs being offered in the Community House.

“You can learn about CROW and local wildlife,” Schoeffel said. “This is our mission focus.”