Transportation Art Definitions

Artist: The person or persons responsible for developing the concept of the art to be installed. This person typically will produce drawings, photographs, or other depictions of the two- or three-dimensional creative work. The artist is not necessarily the same as the person who installs the artwork in the state right-of-way, though if they inject their own creative interpretations, that person may also be considered an artist. Not all who develop an idea that is conceptualized is considered an artist. If the work is not unique to the community it represents, or is a part of a corridor aesthetic plan, it is not be considered 'art'.

Project Concept: A general idea of the artwork; where will it be installed, what kind of art is it (mural, sculpture, mosaic, etc.), about how big is it, what does it depict, what are the colors, shapes, and lighting aspects of the artwork?

Preliminary Proposal: An application for Transportation Art ready for review by District Transportation Art Coordinator. It includes:

  • Application (from template).
  • Resumé of the artist’s work and background.
  • Full description of the proposed transportation art, including a model or scaled plans, elevations, sections and details necessary to convey location, view from all sides, materials, and construction or installation methods. Caltrans may furnish site data as required.
  • Plans and details stamped by a licensed engineer if the proposal includes freestanding art, new structures, or modification of existing Caltrans’ structures.
  • Proposed location, showing existing topography, and dimensions and offsets to right-of-way lines, edge of pavement, centerline, and the clear recovery zone.
  • Proposed color scheme, paint or stain materials, or protective coatings.
  • Required environmental documentation.
  • Material safety data sheet for proposed materials.
  • Proposed lighting and identification of non-Caltrans source of electrical power.
  • Specifications.
  • Proposed traffic control plans and specifications if needed.(applicant may use Caltrans standard plans if applicable or supply their own engineer stamped plans).
  • Proposed cost estimate and a completed value of the artwork.
  • Proposed construction schedule.
  • Projected lifespan.
  • Proposed maintenance access plan.
  • Preliminary maintenance agreement, including maintenance schedule.

Qualified Proposal: A preliminary proposal that has been reviewed by the District Transportation Art Coordinator and is complete enough to be reviewed by the individual Caltrans functional units, such as safety, traffic, environmental studies, etc., for compliance and to identify areas of concern. The qualified preliminary proposal should have draft copies of the Local Agency Agreement, "Assignment and Transfer of Copyright and Waiver of Moral Rights in Artwork", and the Maintenance Agreement included in the submitted proposal.  The qualified proposal should also include proof of community review.

Final Proposal: A Qualified Proposal that is complete and has the final signed Local Agency Agreement, final signed "Assignment and Transfer of Copyright and Waiver of Moral Rights in Artwork", and at minimal a draft of the Maintenance Agreement included.

Approved Proposal: A completed package sent to the Caltrans Encroachment Permit office for final approval and issue of final conditions of approval (such as inspections, safety procedures during installation, acceptance of the final artwork, etc.).

Local Agency Representative (Applicant): A representative of a city, county, tribal government, or non-federally recognized tribe that sponsors the project and serves as the applicant for the installation of Transportation Art on State right-of-way.

District Transportation Art Coordinator (Coordinator): A Caltrans representative responsible for guiding the Transportation Art approval process.

Headquarters Transportation Art Coordinator (HQ Coordinator): Headquarters' single focal point to provide guidance with Transportation Art approval process. 

District Director (DD): Highest authority signature at the District level.

Double Permit:  When encroachment work is performed by someone other than the permit holder, the contractor may be required to obtain a permit for the work. This is called double permitting and is required when the original permittee is a public corporation having its work performed by contract.

Assignee: The person legally given (assigned) rights in an agreement such as copyright assignment; in this case, the California Department of Transportation.

Assignor: The person legally granting (assigning) rights to another person in an agreement.  In the case of Transportation Art, the artist who contributes to the creation, design, and/or development of artwork.

CAPA: California Art Preservation Act of 1979, which confers certain rights to artists of works of fine art (original paintings, sculptures, drawings or original works of art in glass, of recognized artistic quality), including, but not limited to, the right to prohibit the intentional commission of any physical defacement, mutilation, alteration, or destruction of a work of fine art by any person or entity who possesses or owns the fine art.

Copyright Ownership: The owner of all Copyright interests in the work, as defined and enforced under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, to whom the law grants specific and exclusive rights to do and authorize any of the following:  1) to reproduce and make copies of the work; 2) to prepare derivative works based on the work; 3) to sell or distribute copies of the work to the public or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending; 4) to display the work publicly; 5) to perform the work publicly;  and 6) to enforce the work against unauthorized use.

Copyrights: A form of protection provided, as defined and enforceable under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, to authors of original works of authorship.  The original works of authorship include all categories of artistic work protectable under the copyright laws, including but not limited to, the intangible property rights in pictorial, graphic, architectural, and sculptural works, fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.

Final Artwork: The original visual artwork developed, designed, and/or created by artist which form the final Material Object of the work commissioned exclusively for the Project, and as detailed in the Project description, provided by artist and the Local Agency and approved by State through the Transportation Art and Community Identification Proposal application process.  Artist acknowledges that the Final Artwork includes Preliminary Works and the Material Object, which are incorporated and made part of the final representation of the Final Artwork. 

Local Agency Agreement: The agreement entered into between the artist and the Local Agency pertaining to, but not limited to, the design, installation, operation, maintenance, removal of the transportation art, and the incorporation of the executed and notarized "Assignment and Transfer of Copyright and Waiver of Moral Rights in Artwork" by State and artist(s) as part of the Local Agency Agreement. 

Material Object: The tangible visual Final Artwork created, designed, constructed, and installed on State right of way by artist, the Local Agency, the Local Agency’s contractor, or by a third-party acting on behalf of the Local Agency pursuant to the Local Agency Agreement and the Transportation Art and Community Identification Proposal. 

Parties: Assignee and Assignor collectively known.

Preliminary Works: All documentation developed specifically to prepare the Final Artwork.  The Preliminary Works include, but are not limited to, concepts, photographs, sketches, photo simulations, drawings, other appropriate renditions of the visual art, and other alternate or preliminary designs and documents developed by Artist and which form part of or all the Final Artwork. 

Project: Transportation Art Proposal project approved through the Transportation Art Proposal application process, including but not limited to, the name, content, size, proposed installation location, required attachments, maps, design specifications, structural plans, installation plans, traffic management plans, reproducible drawings, sketches, photographs, or other appropriate renditions of the visual art to be installed. 

Transportation Art Proposal: Transportation art proposal application used by the sponsoring agency to submit its transportation art proposal project for review, consideration, processing and approval by State including but not limited to, "Assignment and Transfer of Copyright and Waiver of Moral Rights in Artwork", the administrative procedures, required attachments, design specifications, structural plans, installation plans, traffic management plans, resolutions, artist’s background, maintenance and removal plans, reproducible drawings, sketches, designs, photographs, photo simulations and other appropriate renditions of the transportation art and/or community identification proposal project, before the issuance of encroachment permits for the installation of the transportation art project on State right of way. 

VARA: The Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990, which confers upon authors of works of visual art, several types of attribution and integrity rights, including but not limited to, the right to prevent any intentional distortion, mutilation, or other modifications to his/her visual artwork, and to prevent the destruction of a visual artwork of recognized stature.