Robie Benve was working happily as an accountant for the U.S. government in Maryland when her husband was offered a job in Columbus.
"I would only come to Columbus if I could take a year's sabbatical," Benve said.
She was a budding painter who wanted to explore her craft, she said.
Her husband, Vincenzo Coppola, agreed and they arrived in central Ohio in 2010 for his job as a cancer-research scientist at Ohio State University.
"I started to paint every day," Benve said. "I found my bliss."
She will be one of the artists participating in the Columbus Cultural Arts Center's studio sale, which has a new location this year at the Schiller Community Center, 1069 Jaeger St. in Columbus' German Village.
The sale is scheduled from noon to 7 p.m. Nov. 16 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 17. Admission is free.
The Columbus Recreation and Parks Department's annual sale allows artists and students who work and take classes at the Cultural Arts Center in downtown Columbus to highlight and sell their work, said Nancy Colvin, a spokeswoman for the city.
This year's sale has been expanded to include students and staff any from recreation-and-parks arts facility, Colvin said.
Geoff Martin, arts administrator for the Cultural Arts Center, said expanding the sale will not only increase the number of artists, but it also will show art enthusiasts the depth of local talent.
"I'm excited to see how it turns out this year," Martin said. "It's always fun to see what people are making."
Benve, who lives in Upper Arlington, said she mostly works with oil-based paints because they are slower to dry and help create soft edges. On other occasions, she uses acrylics because they dry faster, she said.
"I paint a lot on location," she said. "You have a limited amount of time. I go for that impressionist look."
Benve said she would have about 30 pieces at the sale. Her latest effort is a line of mixed-media, offering vibrant acrylic colors, paper, fibers and fabric.
Benve, 49, is a resident artist at High Road Gallery and Studios in Worthington.
She said she and her husband were born and raised in Italy, and they came to the U.S. in 1999. She said she has been serious about painting for less than a decade.
The Cultural Arts Center has been an excellent resource, she said.
"The teachers are really talented," she said. "The people you meet there are amazing. We're all like-minded and art lovers."
Benve, who has participated in past studio sales, said patrons always are enthusiastic about the show.
"They really enjoy the art and meeting the artists," she said.