Two students from the Village Center for the Arts in New Milford have been honored at the National K-12 Ceramic Exhibition.

Fiona MacKessy, 9, of New Milford, and Madeleine Alagna, 9, of Brookfield were two of the 27 artists who received an Artistic Merit Award.

Fiona also received the Curator’s Book Award, given to only 10 artists, and the SiO2 Clay Award.

The clay award consists of 50 pounds of clay selected by the student and shipped to the school.

The students’ work was showcased at the annual conference of The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) March 27-29.

The exhibit featured works by 150 artists. The VCA submitted 15 entries made by 10 students ages 7 to 18.

Fiona and Madeleine were selected as juried winners for their age group.

Fiona was 7 and Madeleine was 8 when they created the pieces, “A Hot Dog Dressed as a Hot Dog” and “Beauty of the Seas,” respectively.

Their entries were chosen from 1,164 submissions nationwide.

“The charming work of Fiona MacKessy has moved us,” judges wrote of why Fiona was chosen for the SiO2 Clay Award. “Despite the author’s young age, she has managed to make a well-proportioned and forceful piece.”

“The dog’s posture denotes an active, tense, powerful attitude, but at the same time very warm and friendly,” the judge wrote. “It iIs also interesting the analogy with the ‘“hot dog,’ represented by a small enveloping layer (bread) and the lines of ketchup. A very promising artist.”

The artists’ work has returned to VCA, where it is on display in the center’s pottery studio annex at 1 Church St.

— Deborah Rose