Pro Staff: Joshua Spies

Joshua Spies grew up spending countless days observing wildlife on the vast prairies near his hometown of Watertown, South Dakota. He took an interest in painting wildlife as a young boy and sketched his first duck at age 8.
Spies’ artistic abilities were apparent almost immediately to Master artist and Watertown native, Terry Redlin. Redlin encouraged and mentored Joshua for many years. Spies was also influenced and guided by other well known wildlife artists including Terry Issac, Paco Young and John Green.
Spies received his Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art from the Department of Visual Arts at South Dakota State University. During his first year of school, he received national attention at an art show at Bradley University for his work in pencil. Since then, he has chosen painting as his profession and has developed a remarkable career as an internationally recognized wildlife artist.
Joshua was honored by South Dakota State University when he was chosen to be featured in their “You Can Go Anywhere from Here” campaign, which honors the accomplishments of well known SDSU alumni.
He won the Federal Duck Stamp competition in 2008 and has been a finalist in this event 5 times. He was a finalist for Ducks Unlimited International Artist of the Year. His work has been selected for the Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever national art packages numerous times.
Artwork painted by Joshua has been featured in the MGM movie “A Guy Thing” and 20th Century Fox used 3 of his paintings in their movie “Electra,” starring Jennifer Garner. The Outdoor Channel’s “Wildlife Art Gallery” has featured Joshua’s artwork. Spies has been featured in both US Art and Wildlife Art Magazines. The Fall 2006 Wildlife Art Magazine named Joshua one of the top 16 wildlife artists. Joshua’s work recently appeared on the cover of Safari Club International’s catalog.
Dallas Safari Club announced Joshua as the winner of their Artist of the Year award in 2007 and in 2011, Joshua was named the Safari Club International Artist of the Year.
Joshua is a Signature member of the Society of Animal Artists, recognized as having attained the highest level of ability in the field of animal art.
Recently, Joshua’s artwork was chosen to be featured on a Cabela’s gift card. He has also been commissioned to paint 2 portraits of former South Dakota Governor Bill Janklow, which will be hung in the South Dakota State Capitol Building. Heym Rifle Company is engraving an Elephant sketch of Joshua’s on a series of custom double rifles.
Joshua is a dedicated conservationist and through his artwork, has helped raise millions of dollars worldwide for this effort. He is a life member of the Grand Slam Club, Foundation for Wild Sheep, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Pheasants Forever, Safari Club International, Ducks Unlimited, Dallas Safari Club and ISHA. He is also a member of Grand Slam Club, Whitetails Unlimited, Mule Deer Foundation, Delta Waterfowl and the National Rifle Association.


  • Joshua Spies with Mule Deer painting

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