When I was 31 and living in Austria, I was diagnosed with melanoma- something I never expected to happen to me (for starters I am not into tanning at all). I realized quickly that not just me, but many people worldwide have many misconceptions or lack knowledge about skin cancer and the importance of having regular skin checks. So I've founded Spot the Dot, a foundation in which I work with street artists, skaters and musicians on projects to raise skin cancer awareness with a focus on young people. The mission is to encourage and start a conversation about skin cancer and the importance of prevention and detection, before, during, and well after the summer months.
I lost my mom to Parkinson's disease, I had a past with cervical cancer, and a dad who suffers from prostate cancer. It's sad how we all have our stories related to cancer, but in my case I feel empowered and currently I feel very strong and passionate about my foundation, (street)art, music (heavy metal and rock) and I love a good laugh!
My projects are known to be a little edgy and urban, but mostly colorful and fun! I am looking for ways to start projects all over the world. This year we launched our Rebel against Skincancer campaign. This started in February with our winter festival. In May, for Melanoma Awareness Month, we painted the largest mural dedicated to skin cancer awareness (60 meters long) in Vienna, Austria! The group exhibition and celebration photos from our May 2017 event are found below.
The artists involved in this project include: Michael Hacker, Boicut, Peter Phobia, Martyn Marsland Mills, Chris Versteeg, Emanuel Jesse , Death and Loori, Bernhard Kettner, Nita, Katharina Löffelmann, Mariella Lehner, Flö Rastbichler, Barbara Moura, Rob Perez, Gitty Scholz, Maria Viola, Marnie Higgs, Michael Pasterk, David Sciarone, I Met Lucy.
Watch the artists explain the inspiration behind their pieces for the project below:
All event and mural photos can be found here. All remaining artworks are now available via the Spot the Dot Shop, where the proceeds will be used by the foundation to raise skin cancer awareness.
As for upcoming projects, Rebel Against Skin Cancer will be having an art exhibition in Kuwait at the end of the year, but I'm always looking for new opportunities to raise skin cancer awareness!
Marije is a 33 year old woman from the Netherlands living in Austria. She has melanoma and works with street artists and musicians on projects to raise skin cancer awareness with a focus on young people to encourage them to start a conversation about skin cancer and to keep an extra eye on each other's skin. You can click here to learn more about her foundation, Spot The Dot.