Via L'artista, Cuba's most celebrated bookstore, has always been about creativity. Founded in 1990 by writer Adela Sánchez Rodríguez, the bookstore has been transformed into an intellectual community center since, for decades, publishing houses and cultural institutions have circulated books published in Italy, France, Germany, Japan, the U.S., Spain, Ecuador, Uruguay, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Italy, Mexico, Panama, Jamaica, Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela, The Netherlands, Mexico, Belgium, and Morocco.
Artistic thinking is at the heart of the concept, the essential and fundamental practices. The La Sánchez Rodríguez Collection of Art and Architecture becomes "Library Acceso" for the publisher Dacia (founded in 1984). "Lentos" are given away every Thursday by La Sánchez Rodríguez to open the doors of the Nalindiga Tiles, the artists' collective, each selecting a piece by an artist-in-residence and then having their tiles hanging in the outside. Tiles Latinoamericana (1932), which is in the National Museum of Modern Art of Havana, was recently selected by Jorge Salomón Hoyas, a digital artist and a member of the City Art Movement of Havana, and installed in a corner of the book store.
For Cuban artists, books are a forum for thinking and expressing, a place to help create a conversation and think about the possibilities. The owners of La Sánchez Rodríguez consider reading to be indispensable in gaining a deeper and more profound experience of the works we read, and of all of the works that reach us through out the world.
The bookshop has published the first major Cuban art book in 1987, founded a visual arts research group in 2001 and has been involved in promoting public cultural events since 1986. The bookstore specializes in Cuban and international art and is an integral part of contemporary Cuban culture and scholarship. The La Sánchez Rodríguez Collection includes 55,000 titles, over 130,000 habilitas (recommended volumes), and has spent 60 years collecting art from all over the world.
The library at La Sánchez Rodríguez