Touch-Worthy Walls

Ever since  the walls of my office met Carter Averbeck, they’ve been considerably more popular. People cannot keep their hands off the forest of plaster trees that transformed a rather ho hum wall into a regular topic of conversation.

Valcucine Minneapolis Showroom - IMS

Carter Averbeck is the focus of our November feature and owner of Trompe Decorative Finishes. Trompe specializes in Venetian plasters, fresco work, murals, textural & sculptural wall surfaces and decorative mirrors for larger wall surfaces.

“Anything paint can do, we can do better!”

I certainly agree. We’ll dazzle you with some specific projects next week but for today…let’s get a little more in depth with the man behind the magic.


The Story:

Carter has been the creative type – right from birth. Always taking things and creating art projects galore. When he was 7 years old, his parents got tired of him drawing on the walls so they enrolled him in formal art classes and it became obvious that Carter was destined to be in the arts.

In high school, he started sculpting and drawing. His work won many awards and were displayed in major galleries in Seattle, Washington, were he grew up.

On the encouragement of his art teacher, he pursued art in college. Naturally went towards theater as a major, only to discover everyone liked him better for creating the backdrops and props!  Needless to say, he got the clue and stuck with visual art. In college he submitted his portfolio on a lark for a scholarship overseas to study with a fresco master, and HE GOT IT!

“It was an invaluable experience… who cares if the art form of fresco was practically dead?; I loved it none the less.”

Little did he know years later he would be utilizing all his education to not only do fresco work for clients, but many other techniques he learned while in Europe. Lucky for us, Carter moved to MN in 1990 to work with notable theaters on their backdrops & props. Those experiences taught him to work very fast & efficiently while maintaining high artistic standards.

Q: Tell us about the name of your company, “Trompe”.

“Due to my sense of slightly warped humour, the name of my company is really the French word for “Trick” or “Fool” which is derived from the expression trompe l’oeil or “to fool the eye”. Since many of the murals/ faux finishes produced by the artists at Trompe fool the eye of many people, the term “trick” seems to fit in nicely to what we do.”

Q: Who is your favorite local artist?

“Considering I love so much about the arts, my favourite local artists are ever changing since there is soooo much talent here in the Twin Cities. Right now I have a few favourites: Ed Charbonneau (Abstract mixed media), John Alspach (Abstract mixed media), Eric Pilhofer (Sculptor, ceramist).”

Q: What’s your favorite type of project?

“We really don’t have favorite projects as much as we have favorite clients. It is really the clients who become a joy to work for and create something they fall in love with. That is a total source of satisfaction for myself and the other artists – to be able to enhance people’s lives through what we do.”

Q: Tell us about the Church Restoration Project in Marshall, Minnesota?

“This was a project that came out of no where and it blossomed into something larger than any of us expected. In the end, the church went through a transformation that was nothing short of magical. To know that Trompe was a part of that process is a great feeling of giving back to a community to enjoy indefinitely.”

Q. What sets Trompe apart from other artists doing similar work?

“We work on a broad range of styles and projects from historic restoration to classical faux painting, experimental and cutting edge venetian plaster finishes, glass bead wall finishes, custom mirror panels and much much more.”

“We completely disspell the old thinking that faux finishing is nothing more than cheesy sponging and ragging wall finishes once designers and clients see our showroom!”

Susan Gilmore Photography

“Our studio showroom is open to all who want to see how artistic wall surfaces and can be utilized in any room whether it be in a residential or commercial setting.”

“Deciphering a client’s personal style takes intuition and clear observation in order to get their style beyond just what they verbally communicate.

As it is said, “the space that surrounds you should reflect your style.”

That is the most crucial part for us when dealing with clients. When we “get it” in regards to the client’s perspective, then everything else falls into place.

Next Week – The Art of Trompe

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One comment

  1. […] Wednesday we  began our November feature by chatting with Carter Averbeck of Trompe Decorative Finishes. The scope or Trompe’s repertoire is vast and the scale ranges […]

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