Big Island Rep. Faye Hanohano apologized Thursday on the House floor about racial slurs she made this week about the artwork in her office.
The incident happened while state workers were installing the art on Monday.
A senior exhibit specialist with the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts wrote a letter to his boss complaining about Hanohano's behavior.
The letter reads, "... the Representative came out of her personal office and began a tirade on how 'ugly' the artwork was and why weren't artworks being installed in her office done by Native Hawaiian artists."
The letter says the workers answered her politely, but were addressed with "culturally insensitive and racist criticisms."
The letter also says Hanohano threatened to cut funding to the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts if she didn't get any artwork done by Native Hawaiian artists.
Hanohano, who is of Native Hawaiian ancestry, said on the House floor she is committed to representing all people in the state. She spoke in both English and Hawaiian.
The following is a statement of apology from Rep. Hanohano:
"First and foremost, I'd like to express my sincere apology to any individuals or groups who may have been offended by my comments. Clearly comments that were intended to be an impassioned plea for increasing the visibility and support for Native Hawaiian artists were expressed in a manner that did not accurately reflect their intent, sentiment or the integrity of this office. I accept full responsibility for this unfortunate incident and, again, I apologize.
My office has already reached out to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to assist us in obtaining additional training for all of our staff. We are committed to taking immediate steps to ensure that an incident like this never happens again.