Originally from Iowa, Nicola received her MFA from the University of Washington and studied in the MFA program at the University of Iowa. Her work has been featured extensively in exhibitions including the Palm Springs Museum of Art, the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and group shows in California at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, Riverside Art Museum, and the Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena. In 2019, Vruwink had a solo exhibition at the Lancaster Museum of Art. Previously she had 2 solo exhibitions in Los Angeles with DEN Contemporary Gallery.
Vruwink previously exhibited her work in exhibitions at Seattle Art Museum, Bellevue Art Museum, and the Henry Art Gallery. Vruwink has been written about in several publications such as the Los Angeles Times, Artforum, Huffington Post, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and Angeleno Magazine.