Verna Bartnick (1934-)

Time To Let Go, 2005 Cast Bronze

Time to Let Go, a bronze vignette consisting of two figures and a bicycle beautifully captures that moment of elation as a boy learns to ride a two-wheel bicycle. He sits astride, tentatively, gaining balance just as his father lifts his hand from the seat. Pure joy spreads across his face at the realization of his new-found freedom. His world just got bigger.

Time to Let Go was inspired by a public sculpture that Bob Otwell, former Executive Director of TART Trails, and his family saw on their travels to the Netherlands, where the bicycle is celebrated as an integral part of daily life.

The sculpture was then commissioned by TART to commemorate community support for the Pathways to the Future Capital Campaign, a three-fold fund raising effort established to connect the TART and Leelanau Trails, build shoulders on Bunker Hill to connecting the TART Trail and VASA Pathway, and pay off the mortgage held on the Leelanau Trail.

As a well known and talented local artist, TART sought out Verna Bartnick. She agreed and generously gave of her time to make the installation a reality. She was assisted in creating the piece with foundry work done by local artist, T. J. Carroll, and the piece was installed on the TART Trail at the Open Space, in 2005.

An additional public sculptures, one a life-sized figure of Perry Hannah located at the corner of Sixth and Union Streets is also owned and maintained by the Traverse City Arts Commission.

Type of Public Art: Sculpture Public Art Program Category: Permanent Work


Verna Bartnick employs the traditional Lost Wax method of bronze casting which allows for exacting details of the original clay model to be reproduced. She has maintained a studio on Old Mission Peninsula since the early 1970s and operates Bella Galleria, a gallery of local artists’ work at the Old Mission Tavern. Her commissioned work is located in Boynton Beach, Florida, Kalamazoo and St. Francis Church in Traverse City.

Go See It

The sculpture is located in the Duncan L Clinch Marina.