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In response to the recent CA firestorm, Zhibit.org together with SDVAN and Synergy presented the Fire and Rebirth online art competition. Net proceeds from this event have gone entirely to support the San Diego Emergency Artists' Support League in their time of need. This competition was open to all artists and their art. The first prize winner of this competition is Gaelyn Larrick for the piece entitled "Elemental Alchemy." Gaelyn Larrick won both the popular vote and the juried vote.

Zhibit.org was launched in 2005 with the simple premise of empowering artists to showcase their art online as inexpensively and as easily as possible.

The idea for Zhibit.org sparked after Brian Willis, founder of Zhibit.org, visited Union Square in San Francisco. As often is the case, several artists were exhibiting their art for sale during that Sunday afternoon. Brian developed a liking to the work of one of the artists and asked her for her business card with the intention of checking her website later. The artist replied that her website was in disarray and out of date. Brian suggested to design her a new website in exchange for one of her paintings but the idea was quickly dismissed because the cost involved in creating and hosting her website would have been prohibitive.

Two weeks later it dawned on Brian that the same effort that it would take to create and host one website could benefit more than just one artist. The idea to offer website creation and hosting as an online service was born! It took quite a few months to get the right people together and develop Zhibit.org but eventually Zhibit.org went online in 2005. And the rest is history...

Rod Lingren determined the winner by jury. Rod Lingren’s father, who taught at printmaking at SDSU, was pivotal to his art education. He assisted him at the International Printmaking Workshop in Turkey and India, which was sponsored by the Smithsonian Institute and the USIA. Mr. Lingren has made bronze sculpture, jewelry and steel sculpture. He worked as a Master Printmaker at Orr's Gallery and Ettan Press. He taught sculpture and Drawing for the Orme School Fine Arts Festival where he was on staff for 23 years. Many of his works are in private, public and corporate collections. Eight years ago Mr. Lingren's main emphasis turned to Plein Air and Studio oil painting where he is finding joy and fulfillment in recording California's beautiful but vanishing landscape.