Rok Zelenko   ♦   Work

Studio Porton

Was born in 1951 in Ljubljana. His parents were among the founders of the artistic colony in Grožnjan.
Rok graduated as a painter on the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana in 1975, and settled in Grožnjan. In 1980 he married Leonida Bernetič and they restored the present house where they opened the gallery. In the 70s and 80s Rok was active on different public duties of the artistc colony, working on cultural programs and historical research. He worked in close collaboration with the musical camp, theatre performances, architects and art restorers. In 1998 he moved to Izola, Slovenia, keeping his working studio in Grožnjan. His main activities are painting and ceramics. His painting work (about one thousand eight hundred paintings) consists of thematic cycles:

  • "Istrian nights"
  • "Red"
  • "Memories from a dream"
  • "The town"
  • "Inferno"
  • "The muses"
  • "The seas"
  • "Genesis"

Besides some thousand  pieces of small decorative ceramic and plates he also made some monumental ceramic compositions included into arhitecture in Istrian zone around Grožnjan. Rok's works were shown in more than a hundred-fifty personal and in about the same number of collective exhibitions in Europe.




28 October 1951 - Rok Zelenko is born in Ljubljana. His father Karel is a student in the painting masterclass of Prof. G. Stupica. His mother Sonja Rauter, a sculptress who teaches in the Arts & Crafts High School in Ljubljana. They live with her parents in Kamnik.
1956 -  Birth of his sister Nina.
1958 – Together with Stupica the parents start building a house in Trnovo,  a suburb of Ljubljana.
June 1960 – grandfather dies. In October the family moves to Ljubljana.
March 1965 – First visit to Grožnjan in Istria. Parents rent a house.
1966 –begins high school in Ljubljana.
1970 – Rok passes the exam for  the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana. His teachers include Prof. Janez Bernik and Prof. Kiar Meško. His class generation are: Žarko Vrezec, Tomo Podgornik, Damir Smerdel, Tomaž Gorjup, Alenka Vogelnik, Branko Suhy, Mojca Pengov, Lidija Starc, Marija Rus,  Mojca Smerdu, Lujo Vodopivec and Marko Butina.
1975 –Awarded a Moša Pijade scholarship he stays two months in London. That summer he graduates. In December he goes to Prokuplje for army service.
1977 – Becomes a member of  the Slovenian Fine Arts Union.
1978 – First personal exhibition in Bežigrajska Galerija in Ljubljana.
4 October 1980 – Marriage to Leonida Bernetič and settling down in Grožnjan.
1982 – Inauguration of Gallery Porton. Birth of son Marko, followed by Martin in 1984. In the nineteen - eighties the couple become members of the Fine Arts Workshop in Opatija.
1984 – Exhibition in Studio Galerija Karas in Zagreb. He becomes member of ULUPUH ( Union of Arts & Crafts Artistist`s of Croatia) in Zagreb and the Croatian Association of Fine Arts in Rijeka. He also becomes secretary of  ULKJR Grožnjan (Association of Fine Arts, Cultural and Public Workers of Grožnjan). He promotes and organizes the project Historical heritage of Grožnjan.
May 1985 -  He contracts  an inflammation of the peripheral nervous system and spends six months in the hospital.
1987 – He builds a lodge and atrium as part of the gallery. Stone pillars and sculptures are carved by Aleš Pirnat.
1988 – Exhibition in Camille Lejeune studio in Waterloo, Belgium. Collaboration with Marino Cettina, gallery - owner from Umag.
1989 – First exhibition in Galerie Margelik in Munich. In Grožnjan he meets  Ju¨rgen Karwelat and Kirsten Hoffmann from Berlin. He becomes president of the Artistic Board of GrožnjanTown Gallery.
1990 – He is among  the founders of  the Art - Club of Grožnjan. He becomes  acquainted with painter Franco Migliaccio who organized  an exhibition of Grožnjan artists in Trezzano di Naviglio near Milan.
 1991 -  After the beginning of war in Croatia he is among  the founders of the humanitarian project Aid - Croatia. He organizes exhibitions in Rijeka and Klagenfurt.
1992 – Juergen Karwelat organizes an exhibition in Wilmersdorf, Berlin of his Inferno  cycle. The same exhibition was presented in 1997 in Castle Moritzburg in Zeitz (Sachsen Anhalt).
1998 – Franco Migliaccio presents  Inferno in the Cultural Centre Bertolt Brecht in Milan. The same year Rok, his wife, and  Venetian painter Sandra Masato present their works in the Scuola dei Callegheri in Venice. He buys an apartment in Izola. He is elected president of the artistic board of Fine Arts Association Insula.
1999 – For the hundredth anniversary of the Slovenian Artist`s  Association he publishes Grožnjanska kronika – Slovenci v mestu umetnikov.
2000/1 – He participates in exhibitions of the movement Hermetic cromatism.
 2001 – First joint  exhibition  Archaeology of future with Giampietro Vianello Casisa is presented by Narcisa Bolšec in Museum Umag. In the Board of Supervision he takes part in resolving a difficult financial crisis of the Union of the Slovenian Fine Arts Associations in Ljubljana.
2005 – For his father`s 80th birthday he organizes a cycle of exhibitions Zelenko family. With Lea and Marko he works on the fasade of Umag Aquarium.
2007 –With son Marko he builds a ceramic sculptural composition for the atrium of the Riva building in Umag.
2008 –He promotes exhibition project The picture of architecture, the architecture of picture in Italy, Slovenia and Croatia. In the garden of architect Rita Počekaj in Mužolini Donji near Buje, builds a ceramic relief Amazon in collaboration with son Marko.
2010 - His grand daughter Tita is born. His mother Sonja dies.
2011 – With help from son Martin he publishes an illustrated book Grožnjan /Grisignana – The Istrian town of artists. He spends two months in Paris.
2012 – He participates in the Street Theatre project of Prof. Jane McMahan from N.Y. in Grožnjan.
2013 – With help of son Marko he creates a ceramic relief Spring in Villa Markota on Baredine near Buie.