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Our Story

MBBAG is a non-profit art gallery dedicated to showcasing unique artist works from Michigan and the surrounding Irish Hills area. The gallery is run by the Manitou Beach Historic Renovation Society and will be managed by the Michigan Gypsy new store front located within the same building. The idea is the brain child of David Gajda and Jose Malagon who are continuing their efforts to help reinvent the Manitou Beach village as an artist enclave located a short drive from the Detroit and Toledo metro areas. Mr. Gajda said “my dream is to have a village full of live work spaces where artists can be inspired by the beauty of the Irish Hills lake area and visitors can eat, shop and enjoy the art."

MBBAG is actively recruiting artists interested in exhibiting or running classes.

Founders and Advisory Committee


David Gajda


David Gajda spent his summers on Devils Lake as a youngster.    While creatively inspired,  he spent most of his life in the business and technical world including taking his computer software company public in 2006.   Dave was always interested in the architecture and building revitalization.    Him and his partner Jose were very active in Hollywood, CA revitalization where he learned the process that needs to happen to spur community focused redevelopment.   This combined with his past led him and his partner to focus on the revitalization of Manitou Beach.   Their combined vision is to have a New England styled village adjacent to Devils Lake where artists live/work in century old converted cottages and visitors are able to enjoy the arts in a resort styled environment.

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Jose Malagon


Jose Malagon became interested in art at a very young age.   He started dabbling with painting at age 10 and then transversed between pottery,  theatre, fashion design and event production during his career.   Whether he was designing a small event for 10 people or a celebrity driven awards show for 1000’s,  his focus has always been on the art of the production winning many awards for his work.   Jose has been the main architect of the transformation of Manitou Beach village and was the driving force behind the formation of the Manitou Beach Boathouse Art Gallery.


Michelle Ott

Advisory Committee

Michelle Ott is a former English teacher in Chicago and Leadership contractor with Motorola. She has designed, developed, and delivered training across the country. She has served on workforce development boards and knows how to get things done. Retired now in Manitou Beach, Michelle is an active community member, art aficionado and skillful editor.


Jean Lash

Advisory Committee

Jean A. Lash is long time resident of the Devils Lake area and the Devils Lake Fine Arts Festival.   She graduated from Marygrove College with a Master in the Art of Teaching.   Her work history includes over 30 years of teaching including Siena Heights University, Adrian College, Coordinator of Art History and the curator of several exhibitions at the Chelsea Gallery.   Jean has also been a member of  the Michigan Art Education Association, National Art Education Association, Visual Art Educators of Lenawee, Lenawee Council for the Visual Arts and the Michigan Alliance for Arts Education.