Dear Editor,

As a half-century Virgin Islands resident, as an artist and as a human being, I am very dismayed by the governor’s veto of a long overdue bill (1% for public art) to give the public a small gift of art where currently very little exists. I find this most perplexing: What is the justification?

It is not costing the government anything, really — 1% of the total construction costs which is built into the bid/total at the onset.

Why are aesthetics, architecture, and art so readily dismissed when this is what humanizes, inspires and brings joy to us as we walk down the street and go about our daily lives? To me, it is another form of education — another way to broaden the mind and spirit and nourish the soul.

When are we going to stop acting like poor people who must continually sacrifice and suffer just to eat? Such a sad, false attitude; so disempowering.

Wake up Virgin Islanders: claim the right to live in a place that reflects the long years of struggle and toil to get where we truly are: Not a third-rate banana republic, but one of the finest geographical, cultural and social places in the world.

— Janet Cook-Rutnik, St. John