In the complete shade of the hinterland of Brtonigla, in the idyllic green scenery, one can find the gallery of the academic sculptor and painter Aleksandar Rukavina (1934. – 1985.). It is nicely nested and adapted to the mild descent, following the natural configuration of the soil. The Memorial Gallery shows the overview of works of this Zagreb-born artist, who had a special connection to the Istrian area and people.
Rukavina cooperated with the master workshop of Vanja Radauš, one of the greatest Croatian 20th c. sculptors. He belonged to the younger generation of rebellious artists who announced the new trends in the then Yugoslav arts by their joint exhibition in the Zagreb Modern Gallery in 1960. He worked with various materials and motifs, and the centre of his interests was mostly the human figure. He used the contrast of the processed and raw surface of the material, mostly rock and wood.
Rukavina left Zagreb in early 1960s and moved to Istria. In 1960s he lived in Buje and taught arts in local schools, until he moved to Brtonigla in 1971. Throughout this time, he also worked as a sculptor and initiated many cultural projects.
The Gallery was founded a couple of years after his death and its permanent collection shows the intersection of his abundant work as a sculptor. During the summer, it is opened twice a week in the morning hours. It can also be visited with the previous announcement to the Tourist Board, and it is specially opened for group visits. There is no entrance fee.