It's a coming together of the titans "” SONY and global artists at SDAI's Museum of the Living Artist first-ever International Digital Fine Art Exhibition in collaboration with the Digital Art Guild.This exhibition, which establishes the connection between worldwide technology and fine art, received more than 650 digital entries from all over the United States and ten countries. SONY's phenomenal monetary sponsorship has made this connection between art and culture in San Diego possible by drawing attention to the ties that connect art, culture and technology "” ever reminding us that art, too, is an integral part of the 21st century.The exhibition was judged by Marilyn S. Kushner, department chair and curator at the Brooklyn Museum, New York since 1994."All the works in this exhibition affirm my belief that the digital in art is being mastered by an increasing number of artists who are finding confidence in their abilities to use new technologies in visual expression," she said.Among the plethora of entries were 15 featured artists from San Diego. The following artists earned great praise from the juror as monetary awards were presented.The Grand Award of $2,500 was earned by James Edwards from Columbia, S.C., with his digital drawing-photo manipulation "Al Fallujah-DG." Edwards scanned the landscape where humans have left residue of their behavior, with the ultimate result being a controlled displacement of space referring to the complexity of social, political, and human issues.Rocky McCorkle from San Francisco received an Excellence Award of $1,000 for "Coming Attraction," a larger than life, multi-layered photograph that questions the subliminal seductions of our culture. The post-postmodern images create perfect individuals and scenarios in a world of common oddities.Another Excellence Award was presented to Kathryn Jacobi for her photo-manipulation titled "Unhatched 1," showing four struggling images of a fowl hatching against a black background.Dallas, Texas artist Chet Morrison's digital painting titled "A Man and His Bird" was given the John McKee Figurative Image Award of $500. Morrison broke away from reality and found the freedom to combine his original photography with photographs through digital imaging.The Hoffman Family Trust Award of $500 went to Sfona Pelah of San Diego. "Untitled (Woman and Child)" is a mixed-media piece created from a distant memory, a longing for place that may or may never have existed. Being a printmaker, the digital realm enabled the artist to expand her ability to create things in new ways never before imagined.Pixel 2 Editions Honorable Mention Gift Awards of $150 each were presented to three San Diego artists and their superlative digital photographs: Judy Mandolf, "On a Quest"; Lisa Smith, "Nothing is Certain"; and Jack Salb with his "Acropolis-Lindos." Salb will be featured with a solo show titled "Destinations: A Photographic Narrative," beginning on June 29 at SDAI that will show black and white photographs that express "color" through shape and form, and light and shadows.Merit Awards of $100 were presented to Kelly Sheridan of Renton, Wash.; Nathan Selkoff from Orlando, Fla. and Ryan Hartsell from Dallas.More excitement was added to the evening with the presentation of the coveted "Eighth Annual Ginger Award," which was graciously accepted by Chris Wolfe. It was particularly fitting that Wolfe receive the Ginger Award because his career has evolved around technology and as an executive at Qualcomm. Wolfe has been a proponent of the arts and an art advocate in the San Diego art community for years.The cutting-edge digital art will be displayed at the San Diego Museum of the Living Artist in Balboa Park through June 11. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday (closed Monday). For information call (619) 236-0011.In related art news, the "La Jolla Digital 2006" show sponsored by La Jolla Art Association opened May 8 at the Village Gallery, 7932 Ivanhoe Ave. A reception tonight, May 11, from 6 to 10 p.m., will feature a talk by jurors Gene Nocon and Brenda Reiger. Reiger will also lecture on "The Language of Photography." Call (858) 837-0115 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.