This young artist has had the example, encouragement, and help of some of America's best and most well known wildlife artists.... Terry Redlin, Terry Isaac, and Paco Young, among so many others have watched and encouraged Spies' career.
He is a Life member of Foundation for North American Wild Sheep, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and Pheasants Forever, a Heritage Sponsor of Ducks Unlimited, and a member of the Safari Club International, National Turkey Federation, and the NRA.
Spies is one of six artists throughout the country selected for the 2003 Ducks Unlimited National Art Package, and was also a finalist in the 2003 DU International Artist of the Year competition. His art was selected for the 2002 and 2003 Pheasants Forever National Art packages, and his painting "Annual Descent" was awarded People's Choice Winner in 2002 at the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep National Convention. Spies was also a finalist in two Federal Duck Stamp Competitions and recently placed first place in the 2003 SD Duck Stamp Competition. His painting, "Last Glance - Dall Sheep," received the People's Choice Award and the Artist of the Year Award at the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep National Convention in 2004 and his original, "Turkey Ridge," was selected for the 2005/2006 Ducks Unlimited National Art Package.
Additional accomplishments over the past year include having his artwork selected to be in the MGM movie "A Guy Thing", and having his artwork sold nationwide in Dillard's department stores with their Hemingway furniture collection. "Twentieth Century Fox" is using three paintings in their upcoming movie titled "Electra" starring Jennifer Garner. Spies was interviewed by People magazine, featured in US Art and Wildlife Art Magazine, as well as featured in "People to Watch in Year 2001 and Beyond" in the Sioux Falls, SD Argus Leader.
Spies' other notable achievements include receiving first place in the "International Artists Management" art competition in St. Petersburg, FL, as well as being a finalist in the International Art Competition of N.Y. miniatures and the South Carolina Waterfowl stamp competition. He excels in photography as well, and has competed and attended Kodak/National Geographic Hot Shots in Washington, D.C. and National Geographic Magazine's Workshop and Competition in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He was recognized for top photograph for the latter and was published by National Geographic.