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Lucille Ann Cerretta

aka

LuLu Braha

Currently on exhibit

Many of my paintings are under glass so not on display on this site but available to view with a appointment

Currently, create & sell handpainted

"Art on a Stick"

which are spring clip clothespins check EBAY

LuLu"s Acting, Comedy, site link please click..

www.lulubraha.com

I exhibit in pubic places around the Ft Lauderdale area.

"Parker Playhouse"

in season

With the art group "Kosh's Fine art in Public Places"

Check out Lucille's Tiki Series click here

Link to LuLu 's past Feature page includes her series on SHOES

Lucille is also an perfromance actor

Former sytlist& make up artist on movie D.O.A.

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"Building this website is a big part of my creativity." I want a place for all the artist of RaZoO GaLLery to have a page to call home!


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Teal heel slipper is my most googled image and gets hits world wide. Contact to make offer to purchase.


Older articles below

An Artist's Renaissance

by Bill Hawkins
Ft. Lauderdale, FL Sun Sentinel

Creativity, therapy and experimental drugs help a crippled rheumatiod arthritis
sufferer. Pain is a part of Lucille Cerretta's daily existence, but she'd
rather adjust to it than face the alternative. Twelve years ago, Lucille,
then 37 was crippled so badly she barely could leave her bed. Medication did
not help; some thinned her blood so much that she almost died.

But that was then. Today, anyone looking at the active soccer Mom and
accomplished artist wouldn't suspect she faces any medical challenge.

"A lot of factors have changed my life, but I am just grateful to face each
new day and really believe that I will be around a long time to see my twin
boys grow up," says Cerretta.

New experimental drugs, physical therapy, special finger braces and focusing
considerable effort on her artistic talents have combined to give her a
second chance.

"Art has saved my life in many ways." she said. "Watercolor, like life, is
unpredictable. It's full of imperfections, but that doesn't mean to give up
on it. It only makes it more beautiful."

"When I was first diagnosed with rheumatiod arthritis, I wanted to cry and was mad at
my doctor and the world," she said. That was in 1987, when she first noticed
pain in her knees. Initial treatment eased the pain, but in 1990 it was back
-worst than ever- and her career as a hairdresser was at stake. "Here I was,
making a living using my hands, and I ended up not only being able to not
use my hands, but my whole life shut down," she said.

Cerretta had to give up her career and the future seemed dim. "I've been
lucky to have my doctor, his expertise and new drugs are
working," said Cerretta who undergoes regular injections and daily doses of
pills. That and the help of finger braces allow her to actively pursue her

art.

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Exhibition Solo

Sunrise Civic Center

2006


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Derby and Texican / Mix media

"Salon desRefuse" exhibition, at Art Serve Ft. Lauderdale.


Plantation artist sees through her pain to focus on brighter picture
By Brian Feldman
Special Correspondent
Posted July 11 2005 Sun Sentinel

Bigger is not only better for Lucille Braha, 53, of Plantation, it's an absolute necessity.

Suffering from disabling rheumatoid arthritis for years, she combined a new treatment for the disease with some plastic pipe, duct tape, a little ingenuity and a lot of moxie to reinvent herself as an artist.

"I guess people who see me painting would wonder why my brushes are so big," said Braha of her modified artist's tools, "but because of my lack of grip strength, it's the only way I can hold them."

Braha was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis 17 years ago, and was unable to find relief from the constant fatigue and pain she suffered, despite treatments with several drugs.

As a hairdresser in North Miami, she could work when the drugs would kick in and give her some relief. But the pain always came back with a renewed vengeance, she said.

Finally she was forced to quit her job and faced being suddenly homebound.

Rheumatoid arthritis affects about 2.1 million Americans. It is twice as prevalent in women as men, and the most debilitating of more than 100 types of arthritis, according to the Mayo Clinic. The disease causes joints to ache and throb and eventually become deformed. The symptoms make even the simplest activities, such as opening a jar or taking a walk, difficult to manage.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory condition. The exact cause is unknown, but it's thought to be the body's immune system attacking the tissue that lines the joints.

After she stopped working, Braha managed to take art classes to occupy herself. Her husband, Carey, 48, a physical therapist, modified her brushes and created utensils so that she could paint and perform everyday tasks, like closing zippers.

She took the art lessons to have a way to express herself, using vivid watercolors.

"The first thing that I started to paint were high-heel shoes, because I couldn't wear them," she said. "I couldn't stand in heels, but I really craved them."

Braha said never knowing if the pain will be there the next day can be depressing.

"It is very hard to eat a meal. I cannot grasp things. I cannot kneel because of the pain. But I know I don't have to feel this way. I took my meds. They are the only way to make the pain go away."

Her condition improved in 2000 when she began treatment with Humira, a disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug that slows or helps to inhibit joint damage, and which was in the final stages of clinical trials. She immediately saw the swelling in her joints diminish.

Today, she has learned to cope with her condition and produce artwork on display at the RaZoo Gallery, 3038 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale.

"You keep going and make the best of what you have," she said. "Life can be like an abstract painting: You don't always know what you are seeing, so why not make the best of the situation and just think positively and not let my problem defeat me."

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Tatoopeace.jpeg Peace/ ink stippling

Many articles have been printed about Lucille Ann Cerretta's journey as a artist with Rheumatiod arthritis.

She spoke before the FDA in Washington D.C., March 4, 2003, for the drug "Humira"


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Artist Arthritis Advocate

Lucille's Art work has been seen in a Video and Brouchure for the biologic drug she takes. Lucille's story describes how creating her art was not an easy task. Wearing finger braces and the aid of built up brushes, her creations came to life.

Her calligraphy and ink stippling is very labored over, considering holding a pen was such a painful task.

Humira Brouchure, click pages to enlarge

The drug which eased my struggle.

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Crossroads

watercolor / dayglow

We all faced crossroads in our world.

Life is a double edge sword at times.

"35th Annual Salon Refuses Exhibition"

This painting inspired by life + Interstate 595 meets Interstate 95 Hollywood / Ft. Lauderdale


news articles about being an artist with rheumatoid arthritis.

Sun-Sentinel 11/26/01 Local section "An artist's renaissance."

Aventura News 1/9-15/2002, page 17 "Why a Rheumatologist?" Article by, Dr.
Norman Gaylis. I am the Lucille Dr. Gaylis is speaking about.

Plantation Forum 5/15/2002 "Plantation artist works through the pain."

City Link 8/7/2002, Gallery Page "Lucille Ann Cerretta" Full page article.

Plantation Forum 8/21/2002, "New Look for Classroom".

City Link 10/17/2002," The Art Issue" "Portrait of the Artist"

Plantation Forum 3/19/2003, "Drug helps Plantation artist get a new lease on life"

November 2003 Doctor Direct Mailings/ Abbott Laboratories promotion for "Humira" featuring my artwork and journal of me as an Arthritis patient.

Sun-Sentinel. July 11, 2005, Plantation artist sees through her pain to focus on brighter picture

Photograph published January 2007 in "Gulfstream" magazine by FIU "Baseball issue"

Magazine

May edition 2007 Florida International Magazine, Featured in the article "Living Forever"

"Arthritis Today "2010 May edition " Why my Doc Rocks"

Video's done for RA

Arthrtis Video for Dr. Gaylis "Arthritis Lifestlyes"1998

TV commercial's for Dr. Gaylis office 1998 and 2003

Launch video for Abbott Labs drug "Humira" 2002

Video's Foundation Health, 2004 another 2007.

2010 Monday Afternoon Club video on RA

contact

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webmaster@razoogallery.com


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Lucille Cerretta "Teal Slipper "

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RaZooGaLLeRy.com is a RaZoo/LULU co-production funded by RaZoO GaLLeRy, Hunter-Kost Properties, Hemingway Writing Services, Pharmakonsults, and Tracy's day job