2024 Marilyn Newmark Grant

The National Sculpture Society (NSS) awards Spencer Tinkham the 2024 Marilyn Newmark Memorial Grant. The Newmark Grant is given annually to animal sculptors who have demonstrated a commitment to sculpting and an outstanding ability in their body of work. It consists of an unrestricted cash prize of $5000 and a decorative certificate.

Three NSS Fellows, Martin Gates (from FL), Tony Hochstetler (from CO) and Peregrine O’Gormley (from WA), reviewed the applications. O’Gormley believes that “Tinkham demonstrates consistent attention to craftsmanship and detail, while simultaneously pushing the aesthetic and conceptual envelopes of contemporary wildlife art.”

Tinkham, growing up along the coast of Virginia, became captivated with the rich variety of wildlife along the shore of the Chesapeake Bay and its estuaries. He began carving at eight years old and won the youth division in the decorative bird carving World Championship twice. A self-taught artist, Tinkham finds inspiration in researching bird specimens in natural history museums. His Macrosculptures often include hand-drawn specimen tags on their backs. In 2019, Tinkham received the SEWE Participation Scholarship, giving him the opportunity to receive encouragement and guidance from established sculptors at that year’s NSS Sculpture Celebration Weekend.

Tinkham has exhibited at the Annmaire Sculpture Garden & Arts Center, the Chrysler Museum and the National Museum of Wildlife Art. In 2002, his Colaptes auratus auratus was juried into the prestigious Leigh Yawkey Woodson “Birds in Art” museum exhibition and acquired for the museum’s collection. In 2023, the Rockport Center for the Arts hosted his solo exhibition, Let There Be Flight. This year, his solo exhibition, Spencer Tinkham: Witness, opened at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art for a four-month run. In late September, Tinkham will open a solo exhibition at Antler Gallery in Portland, OR.

The Grant is named for NSS Fellow Marilyn Newmark (1926-2013). A competitive equestrian and highly accomplished sculptor whose preferred subject was horses, Newmark won more than twelve gold medals and 100 awards at national and international exhibitions. First awarded in 2014, Tinkham will be the eleventh sculptor to benefit from Newmark’s bequest. The presentation will take place in September in Indianapolis, IN, as part of this year’s Sculpture Celebration Weekend.

‘Hope’ Is The Thing With Feathers
Ara ararauna (Blue-and-Yellow Macaw)
Phasianus colchicus (Ring-Necked Pheasant)