Written by: 
Sydney Cooper
Photography by: 
Michael Clements

ucked away in a quiet Denton neighborhood is a house belonging to the Sibley family. It's not only a home -- in many ways, it's an art museum that includes pieces from around the world. Now the Sibleys -- a UNT legacy family that includes Joy ('92 M.S., '95 M.S.) and Jim Sibley and their daughter Danielle ('00, '20, M.S.) and son-in-law Jason Siegel ('03) -- have added a permanent addition to their collection: a Renaissance-inspired ceiling oil painting with 12 karat white gold leaf created by alumnus Randall M. Good ('91), co-founder of the Denton Artists Enclave.

Randall M. Good ('91)
Randall M. Good ('91)

The painting concept is divided into two rooms and uses symbols such as the sun, moon, stars, gardenias and two original mythological gods, Didamel and Arc-a-halaus. Didamel and Arc-a-halaus are a part of Good's continuing cosmonogy -- his creative theory of the universe's origins inspired by the classics of Homer and Ovid that touch on "the troubled nature of beings blessed or burdened by self-awareness."

"I enjoy using layers upon layers to build meaning and symbols to tell a story," says Good, who as a student at UNT studied painting and art history with a focus on the Italian Renaissance and Mannerist period. "I love the process."

Good's journey as an artist started as a child. He was the "stereotypical creative kid," always drawing and sketching and went through dinosaur, military and comic-book phases.

"There was always the dream of becoming an artist," he says. "When I mowed lawns, I put more effort into making the posters than the lawn care itself."

After graduation, he restored easel paintings at Art Restoration Inc. in Dallas, further developing his technical knowledge. In his work, Good's primary muse is the human form inspired by Michelangelo.

Randall M. Good's ('91) ceiling painting
Randall M. Good's ('91) ceiling painting

"I love Michelangelo's work," he says. "If you look at his figures, they're so full of power and emotion and expressive content potential that it's almost overwhelming."

Good's aesthetic subjects range from Judeo-Christian iconography to Greek and Roman mythology in literature, and in the painting, he fleshed out a full story inspired by his cosmonogy.

It begins with the gods Aetor and Shelum, who bore four children -- Animachus, Prim and twins Daeos and Claeos. Prim is the symbol of self-awareness, and once Animachus steals a kiss, he realizes his loneliness. Animachus becomes jealous of his twin siblings, Daeos and Claeos, who are lovers. His emotions lead him to rip Daeos apart, and in turn, he is ripped apart by Claeos. Claeos vows to search the universe to repair Daeos' body and bring him back. Arc-a-halaus is born to protect the sun, Daeos' soul. Didamel is born to watch the moon, a part of Claeos.

The Sibleys were previously familiar with Good's cosmonogy. Therefore, they went into the negotiation with the assumption the piece commissioned would be a part of Good's story. The painting is to the left of the front door at their home entrance, between two white cylindrical pillars.

The personalized meaning ingrained into the painting begins with the gardenia. The gardenia represents Jim and Joy's union.

"When we got married, I didn't carry a bouquet, but I had a gardenia in my hair," Joy says.

The Sibleys looked for a way to integrate a symbol representing everyone in their immediate family, including Jim, Joy, Danielle, Jason, and their three grandsons, hence the stars. In addition, they added a star for Good in the painting. Jim's family motto, Esse Quam Videri, translated to English from Latin means, "To be rather than to seem," is a part of the mural.

Good's work appealed to the Sibleys for its ornamental Art Nouveau touch along with their love of religious art. The artists most influential to Good on the project were Alphonse Mucha, Gustave Klimt and Aubrey Beardsley -- quintessential Art Nouveau artists.

Good also says his wife Anadara Braun-Good ('87), an interior designer and who he met in college has been a champion for him and his work.

"When I think about this project or anything that I have done in my career, I can't thank her enough," Good says. "I wouldn't be doing any of this if it wasn't for her continued support."

Good completed the painting July 10, which took over a year to finish from first concept sketch to final varnish.

"Living with beauty -- our personal vision of beauty -- is vital to us," the Sibleys say. "Randall Good's creation has not only exceeded all our expectations; it will live to inspire and delight our family for generations."

For the Love of Art: Collecting with Meaning

The Sibleys' love of art came about differently, but they did not begin collecting until they were together. Their collection began in 1984. Joy's parents "were interested in beauty," and not only did the idea of beauty become vital to her, but also being surrounded by it.

"I think that being surrounded by beauty creates an environment that has open arms to love and doesn't allow much negativity to come in," she says.

Jim found his interest in art by "being a history major and always fascinated by history itself."

"Art captures and symbolizes all the things that happen," he says. "There's a story for everything in our house."

Their daughter, Danielle, recalls watching the collection come together growing up.

"My first memory of them was around the age of 6," she says. "We were sitting around the dining room table as they discussed finances regarding socializing and budgeting for art. Art is an important thing for them to support. I grew up in galleries where I'd watch them talk about where their next piece would go, along with the negotiations, space prep and delivery."

One of her favorite pieces is an inlaid and wood-carved table. Another is a pair of Native American ceremonial masks made of deerskin, feathers and rocks.

The arrangement and interior design of their home is a "hobby," according to Jim. As a result, they switch the placement of their art four to six times before being satisfied with its order.

"If you only buy what you love," he says, "then somehow it will all go together."

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