American Society of Landscape Architects Prairie Gateway Chapter
Award of Honor
In the late 1990s, Hallmark Cards, Inc. purchased a farmstead and 172 acres of surrounding land in Kearney, MO. Located 30 miles northeast of Kansas City, this historic farm seemed an ideal and quiet retreat for Hallmark’s in-house art community. Jeffrey L. Bruce & Company developed this farmstead as a 21st century corporate version of Jens Jensen’s artist retreat, The Clearing on Lake Michigan.
Born in Denmark, Jensen (1860-1951) was one of the great American landscape architects of the 20th century. He developed a distinctly midwestern vision for landscape design using native plants, open vistas, and woodland openings. JBC’s plan for Kearney restores and heightens the existing “naturalness” of the property. The 200 acres of restored prairie, forests, and wetlands provide opportunities to draw upon the landscape for its dynamic composition, light, color, and textures. Seven miles of trails encourage guests to move far beyond the house and barn to explore and discover new areas for personal renewal, creativity, and self-expression.
Hallmark uses this studio and retreat to inspire its many artists, illustrators, and creative staff who continually renew its product lines. Their work is critical to the company’s long-term success. The farm hosts employees for workshops in topics ranging from blacksmithing to creative writing. Immersed in the change of seasons, wildlife, and the open skies of rural Missouri, these creative workers find friendships, teamwork and new ideas removed from the pressures of office and city life.