Statesville Mayor Costi Kutteh congratulates Henry Steele, who received the Keeper of the Culture Award during Art in Bloom.

Photo Gallery: 2019 Art in Bloom

Posted at 3:03 PM on Apr 5, 2019

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BY BRANDY TEMPLETON

Any Lawton, board president for Iredell Museums, smiled Thursday as she spoke about celebrating another year of Art in Bloom.

Lawton said it was a day of firsts.

"This is the first time ever that we’ve had an author and Statesville native to come speak," Lawton said. "This is also the first time we’ve honoured a man."

Author Marie Land Avery read exerts from her book, "Who Will Polish the Silver? A Southern Baby Boomer's Remembrance.

She spoke about the importance of documenting your life for the next génération.

"We all have a memoir," she said. "Who’s going to tell our children if you don’t?"

After Avery spoke, Mayor Costi Kutteh presented the Keeper of the Culture Award to Henry Steele.

Steele has shown the art of friendship, hospitality, nurture, and generosity, the mayor said.

"He lights up the room with an unpretentious air of sophistication."

A Statesville resident and patron of arts, Steele graciously accepted the honor, but humbled himself by thanking the other guests.

"Coming back year after year, this is all you’ve ever known," Steele said. "This is who you are, and if anybody keeps the culture, it’s you all."

The annual event, which is held at the Statesville Civic Center, raises money for Iredell Museums.

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