Massive courthouse endeavor only one dimension of his talent


“I’m definitely not pushing any sort of agenda other than beauty itself,” says Troy Moody, a Corona del Sol graduate and Tempe glass works artist. “I’m just working with colors, textures and light to create a pleasing environment for the viewer.”

Moody has been selected to design approximately 75,000 square feet of terrazzo artwork for the new Maricopa County Court Tower, potentially the largest terrazzo piece in the Southwest. Terrazzo is a composite material that can consist of marble, quartz, granite or glass. It is used for floor and wall treatments.

“This project was massive. It took a crew of 12 craftsmen to create it onsite,” Moody said. “There’s months of design conception, rendering, color selection, placements—it’s quite a project.”

Moody said his interest was piqued by the scale of the project, and that he took as inspiration the surrounding landscape and the confluence of the Gila and Salt rivers.

“I think most artists are interested in scale, just from a design point of view. Going big has always been attractive,” Moody said.

The project, he said, has an additional appeal.

“It’s for the public. It’s there for generations to come. It’s not squirreled away in a private residence, or in an exhibit. These pieces are open to all walks, anybody.”

For Moody, glass was an ideal medium, especially in Arizona.

“With the abundance of sunlight it would make sense that we would play with it,” he said.

Prior to working with glass, he said he drew, painted and pursued other artistic interests. Until recently he had never considered using glass. His interest in glass artwork started roughly 15 years ago during a backpacking trip through Europe.

“I saw the monumental abstract glass of the post-war Germans, and it just blew me away. It was the bold line work, the contrast and the forward thinking aesthetics built into the architecture,” he said.

“They were filling the spaces with extremely fresh designs.”

It took a while, though, for Moody to chart a course to his future.

“I was fairly nomadic for about 10 years. My girlfriend (now wife) and I would travel back and forth between New England and Arizona. I worked with some studios back East and returned to Arizona in ’04, and have been on my own ever since,” he said.

It was his roots, Moody said, that drew him back to Arizona.

“My family has been out here for 150 years. Whenever we would travel, this was always home,” he said.

After his trek abroad had come to a finish, Moody came back to the states and starting knocking on doors, looking for a studio.

“I didn’t grow up in a church with stained glass, so it wasn’t even on my radar screen,” he said.

This coming fall, Moody will be working on a piece for Scottsdale as part of the community’s Bell Tower Project.

“That one will entail half a dozen large glass panels in the Pen Air Tower to create an abstract sanctuary place,” he said.

“That is something I am really excited about doing.”

Moody is currently participating in the Scottsdale Art Festival where he and other artists are showcasing their works. The upscale exhibition, which runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through March 25, is located on Hayden Road just south of Loop 101.

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