The Toad Fish Gallery is currently closed as building is under renovation.

May 2017 – Toad Fish Gallery the pop up that ran for 12 months is currently closed.   The building as planned is undergoing a full renovation and restoration.  Stay tuned for Toad Fish news about other pop ups in the future.

About Toad Fish Gallery and legend of the Toad Fish

Toad Fish Gallery is a new fine art gallery in the heart of Sausalito’s old town at 686 Bridgeway.   Our mission from the start has been to feature contemporary art from Marin’s thriving artist community.  

Like Nice, Arles and the Breton Coast, Sausalito has a long history of attracting artists, drawn to the ever-changing light, the never-ending quest of beauty and – probably – the easygoing vibe for which Sausalito is rightly famous.

We feature works of art from members of the thriving artist’s community at the Industrial Center Building and beyond.  “The ICB” as locals call it, is a repurposed part of Sausalito’s proud naval and military history.  The last remaining structure of the Marinships Project during WWII, the skylight roof and ample industrial space makes the ideal home for a plethora of artists, working in literally every medium.

Toad Fish exists to showcase and support these and other Marin artists, featuring paintings, sculptures, assemblages, collages, drawings, woven artworks, ceramics, jewels,  and more. Each and every piece is unique, reflecting the myriad interests of both seasoned and emerging artists, and would visually enrich any home décor, a memento of a visit to one of the most beautiful and relaxing places on Earth.

Why Toad Fish? The Humming Toadfish (Porichthys notatus on its birth certificate) is truly a fish with a face only its mother could love.   Once upon a time, these fish would flock to Sausalito in their thousands, looking for love, or at least, a good time!  They would serenade the city with their croaking love songs, in a perfect A flat. Their noisy invitations came and went erratically each night, continuing every summer for many years. Then, suddenly, they stopped.

Our gallery honors this noble creature, and we are as much a part of Sausalito’s vibrant cultural scene and atmosphere as our namesake: we celebrate love, nature, and above all, Sausalito, by featuring local contemporary artists.

We are proud to feature the work of:

  • Susan Aulik
  • Rick Begnaud
  • Emily Binder
  • Ingrid Butler
  • Kay Carlson
  • Chris Chaffin
  • Cynthia Duncan
  • Dana Draper
  • Emily Dvorin
  • Terri Froelich
  • Salvatore Giacona
  • Brian Huber
  • Deb Inman
  • Sudha Irwin
  • Nicolette Kalibe
  • Kathryn Keller
  • Antonia (Tuppy) Lawson
  • Don McCartney
  • Debbi Martin
  • Margaret Moench
  • Aiko Morioka
  • Georgette Osserman
  • Helen Pacula
  • Dani Roach
  • Darcy Sears
  • Siobhan Silks
  • Jason Stern
  • Muriel Schmalberg Ullman
  • Michelle Vidro (Meeshka)
  • Kate Zimmer

Please follow us on Instagram #toadfishgallery  Twitter #toadfishgallery  and  Facebook


Opening this week Toad Fish Gallery features Sausalito Abstract and Contemporary Artists

For Immediate Release: Sausalito CA March 19, 2016

A new contemporary fine art gallery, Toad Fish, opens this weekend in downtown Sausalito and will feature the work of sixteen local artists. The work includes abstract paintings, works on paper, and sculpture from talented emerging and mid-career Sausalito artists.

Co-owner Taryn Hoppe, who is part of the local family-run business that bought the historical building with the intention of restoring it to its original condition, explained why the Toad Fish opening is important. “Sausalito has always had a thriving artists’ community. Toad Fish allows it to expand further by welcoming a greater number of artists who work in an abstract format and providing them a valuable footprint in the thriving downtown corridor. It’s a refreshing venue for both new and established talent.”

Gallery Director Loura Brooks emphasized that the show has been carefully curated. “The artists featured here have exhibited and are in collections worldwide. Sausalito is home to amazing talent!” Ms. Brooks most recently developed conceptual and interpretive frameworks for the design of the new Papalote Museo del Nino in Mexico City, which opens in July 2016. She has been a lecturer and tutor in art history for more than 20 years.

The gallery features the following Sausalito artists:

Leslie Allen, Susan Aulik, Rick Begnaud, Christopher Chaffin, Cynthia Duncan, Emily Dvorin, Terri Froelich, Brian Huber, Marta Johansen, Kathryn Keller, Margaret Moench, Aiko Morioka, Georgette Osserman, Dani Roach, Darcy Sears, Mimi Chen Ting, Louise Victor, and Deborah Adams Wilton.

The opening reception takes place this Saturday, March 19, from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. For more information, visit

Press Release



About our mascot – the legend of the Sausalito Humming Toad Fish

Our Toad Fish has been mystifying residents of Sausalito for many years !

Sausalito Journal; Voice of the Turtle? No, Toadfish Love Song

Published: June 26, 1989 New York Times

SAUSALITO, Calif., June 25— For years, residents of this bayside village across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco have spent their summer nights in sleepless tossing, kept awake by the humming of thousands of male toadfish looking for a one-night stand.

As nature planned it, what is unbearable to the human ear is to a female toadfish Elvis Presley crooning ”Love Me Tender.” So in the best if-you-can’t-beat-them-join-them tradition, people here have organized to celebrate rather than curse the nocturnal liaison of Porichthys notatus.

It is not a community gone mad, but the high jinks of the second annual Humming Toadfish Festival, which celebrates a fish so ugly it has been likened to a tadpole with a hormone problem. Part of the celebration is humans, dressed as fish and other fauna, imitating the call of the toadfish on kazoos.

The toadfish arrived on schedule last Tuesday and began keeping many of the 7,500 residents of Sausalito awake by doing what comes naturally. The fish come equipped with a gas bladder that serves as a buoyancy device and, in the males, a resonating sound chamber.

When the males vibrate the sac to attract females, the resulting sound can charitably be described as a group of oboe players hitting the same note.

”It’s the most God-awful sound,” said John McCosker, the director of the Steinhart Aquarium in San Francisco. ”It’s like that scene in every crummy war movie you ever saw where all the B-29’s are flying together in formation.”

For most of the year the toadfish remain offshore from Alaska to Mexico. But in their spawning season, they find the conditions of Richardson Bay, where upper San Francisco Bay meets Sausalito, ideal. The particular attraction is a community here of more than 400 houseboats whose bottoms provide an ideal egg-hatching environment.

The noise was originally a mystery that had houseboat residents in pajamas rushing around with flashlights trying to discover its source. Theories became increasingly bizarre: it was a sewage pump, a secret military experiment, Russian submarines sneaking into the bay, extraterrestrials.

A scientific investigation was begun, resulting in a search assisted by a noise adviser and an acoustics consulting company. Hydrophonic recordings were taken. Spectrum analysis eliminated machinery as the source of the humming.

Finally, in August 1985, Mr. McCosker and fellow fish biologists caught a quartet of humming male toadfish, confirming what Mr. McCosker had proposed all along.

”Quite a number of people can’t believe that fish can make this much racket,” Mr. McCosker said. He finds that understandable because many urban dwellers have never heard mating calls other than the ones in singles bars. ”Animals, when they want to find a mate, get very noisy,” he said.

On the East Coast, the oyster toadfish utters ”the foghorn call,” a forlorn-like wailing that is not continuous and not as loud as what comes out of its Sausalito cousins. ”A lot of fish make noise,” Mr. McCosker said, ”but these are really good at it.”

Experts say Sausalito’s good humor will be sorely tested in the future, since the nightly humming is expected to increase in volume each year. Recent government efforts to clean up the bay have improved water quality and desirability as a toadfish trysting place.

The festival is also a personal vindication of Mr. McCosker’s early stance: Toadfish were the sole cause of the offensive din. At the time, his houseboat-dwelling friends treated him as though his mental elevator no longer went to the top floor. A newspaper editorialized about his wrongheadedness.

The national media were incredulous.

”Dan Rather didn’t believe the fish made the noise,” Mr. McCosker said. ”He said, ‘If you believe this, you believe bullfrogs grow hair.’ ”

Phil Frank, a cartoonist for The San Francisco Chronicle and king of this year’s festival, is a Sausalito resident who calls himself a ”victim of the hum.” Mr. Frank, whose daily comic strip offers a menagerie of eccentric animals that parody human behavior, said: ”I couldn’t believe it was fish. I was convinced it was the C.I.A.”

Mr. McCosker believes that in today’s litigious society, some skeptics wanted a human source of the noise found so they would have someone to take to court and have found liable for intentionally inflicting insomnia. ”They were holding out hope that it was the military or the sewer company,” Mr. McCosker said. ”You can’t sue a fish.”