About Us

We started with the simple act of removing a fence between neightbors, revealing  an entirely new relationship to our surroundings, a relationship we are eager to share. Soon community garden spaces and outdoor eating areas emerged; meals and visions were shared. 

We share a belief in the magic of this land. We love where we live and what we are in the process of creating. We are grateful we have been able to invite people to share in our vision.

Meet the Team

John Heckel

John is a retired professor of theatre and film at Humboldt State University. John has directed both theatre and film, educationally and professionally. He has been fortunate enough to have lived, taught and directed in multiple foreign countries. After his retirement he went back to school and got a PhD in psychology. When not working on various Creekside Commons projects John is advocating for seniors and writing a monthly column on the difficulties of aging. Being the resident theatre director, john can often be found in the Commons studio helping and directing Calder with his one-man show.

Tanya Bullwinkle

Tanya has devoted most of her career to providing reproductive health services to the northern Humboldt community through Planned Parenthood. Tanya was also one of the founding members of Eureka’s Synapsis Collective, a non-profit performance art space. There, Tanya organized dance workshops and intensives, and performed experimental and improvisational dance. Her organizational skills also keep Creekside Commons meetings on track and productive. She is a loving mom and wife and loves coming home at the end of the day to her amazing family and beautiful home. She loves being part of the ever-evolving Creekside Commons community.

Janet Patterson

Janet is from the Bay Area, and before moving to Humboldt County 11 years ago, lived in New York City, southern Spain, Florida, Sacramento, and, most recently, Davis, California. Janet taught second grade at a Spanish Immersion school in Davis before she retired and moved up here. She holds a PhD in psychology with a specialization and expertise in dreams. Janet is a SoulCollage(R) Facilitator and teaches workshops in the studio on Creekside Commons. She likes cooking food from the community garden, decorating the Cabin, and taking Zoe on morning walks in the redwoods

Rich McCutchan

Rich spends his time hiking in the woods, reading philosophy in his library, designing and creating objects of all types, as well as maintaining the land he lives on. His passion for working with his hands shows up in everything from a hand crafted living spaces to life size sculptures. At first glance this might seem a world away from his career in psychology. In fact, myth, art and imagination was key elements of his lectures, writing, and work with individuals, couples and groups. Currently, he facilitates a group of artists exploring the creative imagination and the role it plays in our lives. For Rich artistic creativity in its many forms can be one of the most fulfilling as well as transformative of human experiences. 

Calder Bullwinkle

Calder is truly a jack-of-all-trades. If something needs fixing on Creekside Commons, call Calder. His beautiful wood creations can be found throughout the Commons. He loves to explore local ecology by foraging for local plants and mushrooms. Want to know if those Creekside mushrooms are edible? Call Calder! Want to know about fishing our wild rivers and hiking our redwoods? Call Calder! Like many here on the Commons, Calder also has a theatrical background, having performed with the Carpet Brigade, an acrobatic stilt performance troupe. He has also experimented with gymnastics, circus arts, dance, and improvisational performances.


Oliver is the youngest human member of Creekside Commons. He loves playing soccer, the drums, snowboarding, making origami and playing with his friends and cousins. He is silly, smart, fun, sweet, and a joy to be around. Some day he hopes to do a back flip on his snowboard.

Joey McCutchan

Joey spent some 17 years teaching Spanish to students in Grass Valley, California. During those years she also studied African and Afro-Cuban percussion, and performed with the Earth Rhythm Dancers. For five years she played with a Latin jazz group called Sobroso. Currently she enjoys singing in local choirs. Tending her gardens, keeping Creekside Commons supplied with fresh eggs from her chickens, and honey from her bees take up some of her time. However playing with her grandchildren is her favorite activity. Recently, birding and hiking are a couple of passions she has added to that list.

Maize and Zoe

Maizy and Zoe also enjoy company. They have greeted and visited with countless adventurous but well behaved canine friends. From those experiences they have set up some house rules for canine visits. They invite you to check them out.

Marceau Verdiere

MARCEAU VERDIERE is a direct neighbor to Creekside Arts. MARCEAU is a visual artist and art educator. French-born and raised, Marceau’s work is exhibited internationally and he has deep connections to the northern California art scene. Besides painting and his passion for all things creative, MARCEAU loves his family, Penny his dog, and Percy and November, his cats. In his spare time, he especially enjoys foraging for mushrooms in the surrounding forest and traveling to be inspired by this beautiful planet we live on. But above all, MARCEAU believes in the power of small communities of friends and neighbors.



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Creekside Arts is an Ink People DreamMaker Project.