We provide a welcoming space where students of all abilities can explore the creative arts

How we treat vulnerable groups and individuals is an indicator of how advanced our society is, in a spiritual sense. In 2013, self-taught artist Matthew Palmo merged his passion for art and concern for individuals with developmental disabilities when he founded IndicatorArt, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation.

Our Mission

IndicatorArt’s mission is to enhance the lives of those most vulnerable. Our programs help every participant explore creative expression in an inclusive, fun, and respectful environment.

What We Do

Since its founding, IndicatorArt has worked with hundreds of people with developmental disabilities. The paintings, photographs, films and songs our students create are sometimes surprising, often astounding, and always a reminder of what each of us is capable of doing.

We currently offer programs (subject to location) in painting, photography, singing, musical theater, sketch comedy, film, songwriting, music and movement. See Classes for more details, or take a look at a specific Location to see what classes are currently being offered there.

Our Philosophy

We founded IndicatorArt with a single painting class and a philosophy that places people first. That philosophy has evolved as we’ve grown, and today it applies to all of the creative and performing arts classes we teach.

People are more important than art

Our belief is that people are more important than art. We create real and long-lasting relationships with our students and the people who support each of them. We continue to form a community that is alive with not only creativity, but also empathy.

Our belief is that everyone’s point of view is valuable. We guide, influence, and collaborate with our students during the creative process without taking over and doing it for them.

Our belief is that everyone is an artist. We simply give our students the opportunity to begin the process of cultivating their craft and saying something meaningful.

Our belief is that there are no mistakes. Each brush stroke, even if it is uneven or seems random, simply helps to form the artist’s distinctive style.

Our belief is that an artistic space should be a safe place for all students to express themselves. We strive to create an environment where people support and encourage one another, allowing all kinds of ideas to thrive.

Our Team

Matthew Palmo
Matthew PalmoFounder and President
Los Angeles, CA
Alicia Fitzpatrick
Alicia FitzpatrickMusic Instructor
Buffalo, NY
Amy Palmo
Amy PalmoMovement Instructor
Los Angeles, CA
Joan Barten
Joan BartenRegional Director
Buffalo, NY
Jessica Marinaccio
Jessica MarinaccioArt Instructor
Buffalo, NY
Andrea Rulfo-Khachi
Andrea Rulfo-KhachiArt Instructor
Los Angeles, CA
Amanda Marlinski
Amanda MarlinskiArt & Photography Instructor
Buffalo, NY
Jenni Spear
Jenni SpearVolunteer/Art Instructor
Buffalo, NY

Board Members

Matthew Palmo is the founder of IndicatorArt and a self-taught artist. His distinctive paintings have been featured in juried shows and art galleries in the Western New York area, New York City, Los Angeles, and Naples, Italy. He also has years of experience working with the elderly and people with developmental disabilities. In 2013, Matthew’s passion for art and his concern for vulnerable individuals merged when he founded IndicatorArt, as a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation. Matt built the East Aurora, NY site from “scratch”, designing and implementing the programs, obtaining an art studio and establishing relationships with key stake holders. Currently, Matt works closely with the East Aurora and Nashville site leaders and is setting up an IndicatorArt presence in the Los Angeles area. He has been and will remain the driver of IndicatorArt’s strategic vision. Matt and his family reside in Woodland Hills, California.

Bob Hoeh retired after 40 years from Moog Inc., which designs and manufactures motion control products for the aircraft, defense and aerospace industries. As the father of a long-time art student of IndicatorArt, he provides an invaluable perspective for our Board and staff regarding the needs and priorities of our students. Bob is also an influential supporter of the company in East Aurora, NY, where he resides with his wife and daughter.

Katie Buvoltz has 20 years of adult higher education experience, currently serving as Associate Director, Faculty Support and Development and Assistant Professor, School of Education for Northcentral University. She also serves as an adult higher education consultant. Prior she worked at Houghton College as the Associate Dean for Adult and Distance Education. Earlier employment also included human resources roles at Bush Industries, Inc., in Jamestown, NY and a communication specialist for Covenant Players, an international repertoire theater company based out of Los Angeles, CA. Katie holds a PhD in Organizational Leadership and Human Resources Development from Regent University, an MBA from Regis University, and a BS in Organizational Management from Houghton College. Katie joined the IndicatorArt Board in 2017 and currently serves as treasurer.

Thomas, who recently joined the Board of Directors of IndicatorArt, is an internationally recognized self-taught realist painter and accomplished educational film producer. He is also a renowned art educator and champion of future artists, young and old. The wilds of New York State and a close-knit family of designers and entrepreneurs shaped his early love of art and the outdoors. Fly fishing and guiding in Alaska’s backcountry cemented his pursuit of a life path illuminated by sunlight more often than lamplight.

His work draws on the Masters’ approach to canvas, plein air technique, and a deep Catholic faith. Each piece celebrates creation’s grandeur and mystery through careful attention to often-overlooked subtleties.

Thomas is recognized as an Associate Living Master by the Art Renewal Center; a Master Roycroft Artisan; member of the NYC Salmagundi Club; Painting Instructor for the Grand Central Atelier in New York City; and Senior Fellow with the Hudson River Fellowship. His work is showcased in galleries, collections, and publications worldwide, including Plein Air Magazine and the American Arts Quarterly. He lives in Western New York with his children.

Mike has nearly 20 years experience in the financial industry. He is Managing Principal of Legacy Financial which he helped found in 2005. Legacy Financial is a comprehensive financial company focused on Planning, Investments, and Insurance. Mike graduated from Miami University with a B.A. in business marketing where he was awarded the Business School’s “Student of the Year” as well as the “President’s Distinguished Student” award while he also played Varsity Basketball. He also has a Masters in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. Mike also serves on the board of directors for the “Anthony Munoz Foundation”. IndicatorArt has benefited greatly from Mike’s extensive business and board member experience. Mike, his wife Lisa and four children, reside in Wyoming, Ohio.

Dom has nearly 40 years of business experience primarily in the pharmaceutical industry. During this time, he held a variety of sales, marketing and management positions. His final position was VP/General Manager of ParMed Pharmaceuticals which, at his retirement, had sales of nearly $200 million and 175 employees. ParMed is a leading distributor of generic pharmaceuticals and a division of Cardinal Health which is a Fortune 20 company. Dom has used his considerable business skills and experience to help guide IndicatorArt to its current level of success. Dom and his wife Sue reside in Orchard Park, New York.