Collector Spotlight - Ron Castaldo, interviewed by Pamela Schneider

Ron has been collecting Randi's work since the early 90's.
I had the pleasure of talking with him yesterday about his experience and why he loves living with her pieces.
Ron says:
My wife and I have lived and worked in France since the 60s when we were students and we’ve always been interested in collecting art and have been collecting for quite awhile.
In the 90’s when Dale Chihuley became popular we went to one of his exhibits and I mentioned to my wife that I really wanted to start collecting glass, so I looked around at what was available and I didn’t find anything intriguing, it looked like everyone was copying his work.
Then I went to a show in New Jersey in the late 90’s and met Randi Solin, and I fell in love with the Sahara Flat, which totally intrigued me. At the time it cost $750, and I thought, I have to have it, but my wife is going to kill me.
Since then I’ve collected 9 of her pieces, one of them is a blue cobalt bowl that is quite unique from one of her fund raisers that she had to help her build her furnace, she made me a unique piece that has gold in it.
I have a Glacier in front of my arched french door overlooking the back yard. The Glacier that I have is a little bit different of a shape, its taller and more linear and looks absolutely incredible in the morning light.
When she opened again after the Pandemic, I commissioned a Miro, which is sitting next to the Glacier at the moment, so that the light from the glass door will shine through it. Miro’ is one of my favorite artists, and I just love how it looks in the light.
Her pieces, each one has a story, that’s what I love about art.
Our home is situated so that throughout the seasons the natural light changes so I move the pieces around throughout the year, so that the light shines through them in different ways and I can experience the beauty of that.
There’s one spot in my home where the sun sets in the winter and when I have the Sahara Flat there, it creates a golden glow in the room.
You can buy art because it looks great in your house, and it’s a whole other thing to find an artists whose work you love to support.
Randi is an artist that I care about supporting.
We don’t have unlimited money, so I save for her pieces, and I love supporting Randi’s work because she’s such a kind and loving individual, and I know it makes a difference.
When I bought the piece for her fundraiser, she put my name on a plaque in the Gallery there.
A few years ago, I visited the studio and it was incredible to see her work, and then when I saw my plaque on the wall it was just so wonderful.
I also love giving her work as gifts, I gave one to my sister, it feels like an extension of my love of Randi and her work, you can feel her love come through it, and I feel like I’m sharing all that love.