In 2019, the National Sculpture Society awarded the SEWE Participation Scholarship for an emerging animal sculptor. The scholarship, donated by The Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, went to Spencer Tinkham. Tinkham received a stipend and entrance to the NSS Sculpture Conference, as well as a place at the 2020 SEWE events, February 14-16, 2020 in Charleston, SC.
Tinkham, growing up along the coast of Virginia, became enthralled 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.
Tinkham does not use any commercial products in his sculptures, making his oil paints from scratch with raw pigment powders. Most of his pieces are constructed entirely out of materials that are salvaged along bay and river shorelines.