Transforming Spaces: Warm Springs Intermediate School Brings Art to Life

Warm Springs Intermediate School, under the guidance of art teacher Anna Ruggiero, has embraced the power of art in transforming spaces. Join us as we delve into their awe-inspiring community art project that beautifully combines creativity, collaboration, and the spirit of Alma Woodsey Thomas. Witness the remarkable mural that breathes life into the exterior wall of the Ice House in downtown Berkeley Springs, captivating hearts and bringing smiles to all who see it.

Inspired by Alma Woodsey Thomas: Capturing Time and Place in Art

Explore how Warm Springs Intermediate students found inspiration in the works of Alma Woodsey Thomas, discovering how art can reflect the time and place in which it is created.

Discover the story of Alma Woodsey Thomas, an acclaimed African-American artist whose impressive body of work has made its mark on art history. Explore how her abstract space-themed paintings, specifically "Apollo 12 Splashdown," served as the inspiration for the mural project.

Learn how art classes delved into learning about Thomas' life and artistic journey, connecting her vibrant and expressive style with their own experiences. The students were captivated by the mesmerizing colors and contagious energy, which made them feel a sense of joy and serenity reminiscent of a mountain sunset in Morgan County.

Delve into the creative process that allowed these budding artists to channel both their individuality and their shared identity as part of a larger community project. Uncover the techniques they used to collectively bring the mural to life with breathtaking tiles and arrangements.

Unleashing Creativity Through Meditative Tile-making Process

Go behind the scenes as the students embarked on a journey of creativity, finding peace and joy through the meditative process of tile-making for the mural.

Immerse yourself in the details of carving and shaping clay tiles, revealing the dedication and passion that went into every piece. By utilizing a 2 x 4 template, the students turned raw slabs of clay into intricate works of art, paying attention to every texture and stroke.

Discover the endless possibilities and personalization that each student brought to their tiles, excitingly transforming the blank canvases into cherished representations of their own stories. Witness the care and thoughtfulness that went into the selection of colors and designs, as each individual's unique perspective found its place within the larger mosaic.

Learn how the students tapped into the therapeutic aspects of the creative process, finding solace and relaxation amidst the chaotic demands of the world. Engage your senses as you delve into the world of clay, colors, and emotions, experiencing firsthand the therapeutic powers of artistic expression through the eyes of these aspiring artists.

Uniting the Community: A Collaborative Masterpiece

Explore how the project expanded beyond the MC After 3 program, as the entire school united to create a mural that symbolizes unity and community collaboration.

Learn about the contagious enthusiasm that spread through Warm Springs Intermediate School as the project gained momentum, bringing together students from multiple grades to manifest a vision that extended beyond the boundaries of their individual classrooms.

Discover the orchestration involved in organizing over 15 classes, ensuring that each student had the opportunity to contribute a piece to this visual spectacle. Witness the magic of collaboration as the students collectively organized and installed vibrant clay tiles onto the exterior of the Ice House, the heart of downtown Berkeley Springs.

Experience the palpable sense of pride and accomplishment as the mural triumphantly took its place as a symbol of vibrant creativity and interlocking partnerships, truly representing the essence of community collaboration at its finest.

Alma Woodsey Thomas: Shaping Perspectives and Inspiring Future Generations

Understand the legacy of Alma Woodsey Thomas, a trailblazing artist whose influence extends beyond her paintings, shaping young minds and inspiring future generations.

Delve into the inspiring journey of Alma Woodsey Thomas, a prodigious artist and a respected teacher who left a significant impact on the art world. Discover how her uplifting spirit and dedication to teaching sparked a torch of creativity among her students and continue to inspire young artists today.

Witness the powerful message embedded in this community art project, as Warm Springs Intermediate School showcases the value of artistic mentorship and its perpetual ripple effect. Explore how art education enhances creativity, self-expression, and empathy, nurturing a foundation for future young artists to emerge.

Discover the transformative power of art in educational settings, as the Warm Springs Intermediate School art classes beautifully merge talent and passion under the guidance of their dedicated art teacher, Anna Ruggiero. Uncover the infinite possibilities when the creative flames are sparked and fueled, paving the way for a brighter, more inclusive, and art-filled future.


The Warm Springs Intermediate School art mural project exemplifies the transformative power of art, uniting a community, fostering creativity, and inspiring future generations. By encapsulating the essence of Alma Woodsey Thomas' artworks and the vision of talented young artists, the mural serves as a constant reminder of the extraordinary things that can be achieved when passion and collaboration converge.

As the vibrant mural adorns the exterior wall of the Ice House, it stands as a testament to the beauty found in diverse perspectives and creative exploration. Warm Springs Intermediate School students have created a lasting legacy that shines bright in Berkeley Springs, inviting all who see it to bask in the joy, inspiration, and unity it radiates.


How long did the students spend on this art mural project?

The duration of the art mural project varied as it extended from the MC After 3 program to involving the entire school. Students dedicated time during their weekly art classes, and as the project expanded, various art classes across multiple grades contributed. The collaborative process involved meticulous planning, designing, creating, and finally organizing and installing the tiles onto the Ice House wall.

Who is Alma Woodsey Thomas?

Alma Woodsey Thomas, an African-American artist, was born in Columbus, Georgia, and became renowned for her vibrant abstract paintings. After teaching for many years, Thomas focused on her art career, creating expressive and colorful works. Her art speaks to the importance of self-expression and the emotional impact of creativity.

How did the art project impact the students?

The art project not only fostered artistic skills in the students but also ignited creativity, self-expression, and sense of belonging. As students explored the meditative process of tile-making and unleashed their creativity on the mural, they gained a sense of accomplishment and a deeper appreciation for art's ability to bring people together. The project allowed them to learn about the history of art, connect with prominent artists like Alma Woodsey Thomas, and experience the immense joy of creating something beautiful as a collective effort.

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