The Bit Portal

Gate & Grill Public Art


In March 2013, Marta completed a Public Art Project commissioned by the City of Lethbridge, which called for the design of a two-pannel gate and a gril for the outdoor studio of the newly built CASA Community Arts Centre in Lethbridge. Named The Bit Portal, the design was fabricated and installed in May 2014.

Gate and Grill

This project began with an open call for submissions, inviting Southern Alberta artists to participate. After sending in her application, and learning the good news a few months later, Marta started on the concept. The goal was to create a design that provided shelter from the street, yet allowed pedestrians to peek at the activities in the studio.


Both the gate and grill needed to reflect and compliment the building’s modern architecture, yet exist as an independent artwork that expressed the artist’s unique stylistic sensibilities.



Marta based her concept on the pixel / glitch art aesthetic, focusing on colour and arrangement of shapes to create a chaotic, clustered composition. The perforations on the gate were placed in areas unobstructed by the framing where panels would eventually be fastened, and at eye level, providing passer-by’s with the opportunity to look in. The grill’s perforations were more evenly spread out to give it a unique look.

Gate Drawing

Once the design was approved, Marta consulted with the fabricator on the specific colours and finish of the piece. The gate and grill were then cut from steel, any sharp edges were polished, and the panels were painted with automotive paint.


In the final design the squares and rectangles, arranged in “organic” clusters and based on the digital aesthetic, stand as building blocks of visual experiences and symbolize the different art genres coming and interacting together in one space. The Bit Portal had its official unveiling during CASA’s 1-year anniversary, where other commissioned artworks were presented, and all artists involved gave a talk.



  • Client City of Lethbridge
  • Location of Artwork CASA, Lethbridge
  • Concept and Design Marta Timmer
  • Fabrication Charlton & Hill Ltd.