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In The News  |  About William Vareika
ABOUT WILLIAM VAREIKA

Gallery owner Bill Vareika is a specialist in 19th century American art, as well as writer, lecturer, community activist, preservationist and philanthropist.

Bill is a 1974 Magna Cum Laude graduate of Boston College with a degree in Political Science. He abandoned law school plans to volunteer to direct a six-year legal battle to save a historic church in Newport, RI which was decorated by John La Farge, a 19th century American artist he had discovered in his one art history course at BC. He later took a leave of absence from graduate studies in American Civilization at Brown University in order to begin a career as an art dealer, opening his Bellevue Avenue Newport gallery in 1987.

Now one of the largest art galleries in New England, William Vareika Fine Arts, Ltd. includes the renowned Newport Gallery of American Art and Newport Gallery of World Art., specializing in the purchase and sale of important 18th, 19th and 20th century works of art. The William Vareika Fine Arts Gallery has been recognized as "Best of RI" by Rhode Island Monthly Magazine and "one of the outstanding reasons to visit New England" by Yankee Magazine.

For over twenty years, Vareika has used his gallery to raise public awareness and millions of dollars for a variety of charitable causes in the areas of the arts, education, the environment, health care, animal welfare, social services, and historic preservation. Among the many organizations that have benefitted from Vareika’s charitable giving are: Boston College; the Gilbert Stuart Birthplace and Museum; the Museum of Art, RISD; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; New Bedford Whaling Museum; Newport Historical Society; the Potter League for Animals; Preservation Society of Newport County; Redwood Library and Athenaeum; Salve Regina University and Save The Bay. Vareika has also donated dozens of artworks to museums and other charitable organizations, including: the Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy, Andover; the McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College; the Newport Art Museum and Wellesley College Museum of Art.

Bill has served on the boards of the Newport Art Museum, the Redwood Library and Athenaeum, the Newport Music Festival and Save The Bay. He has also served on a number of advisory committees, including: the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center; New Bedford Whaling Museum; and Trinity Boston Preservation Trust. He is a former Vice-Chairman of the RI State Council on the Arts, having been appointed by Governor Bruce Sundlun. Governor Donald Carcieri appointed Vareika to the RI State House Restoration Committee.

Vareika is currently a member of the board of directors of Historic New England and a member of its Public Outreach Committee. He serves on the McMullen Museum of Art Patrons Committee, and continues to serve on the Collections Committee of the Newport Art Museum. He also serves on the board of the newly-formed Newport Festivals Foundation. William Vareika Fine Arts, Ltd. was elected a member of the non-profit National Antique and Art Dealers Association of America, Inc. (NAADAA). The Vareika gallery is the first and only business in Rhode Island to have joined this prestigious organization.

Bill and his wife Alison were honored in November, 2007 by the environmental organization Save The Bay, with the Partners in Philanthropy Award presented by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. In February, 2008 they received the Small Business ENCORE Award from The Arts and Business Council of Rhode Island for their contributions to the arts and culture of RI. In June 2008, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center honored them with the "Keeper of the Dream Award" for their non-profit work in the community. In 2011 Bill received a "Friend of Education" Award from the Newport Public Education Foundation. The Newport County Chamber of Commerce gave its prestigious "Excellence in Business Award" to the Gallery at its Annual May Breakfast in 2011. William Vareika received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Salve Regina University at their 61st commencement on May 15, 2011 for his contributions as a preservationist and philanthropist.

Bill and Alison have three children, four dogs, and live in an 1877 National Historic Register home in Newport.

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