Nicki Wood throws her heart and soul into projects. It is that quality that makes her an ideal fit for the Greater Southwest Historical Museum.

Wood, the curator of collections, advanced programming and social media has been at the museum in November. Originally from Catoosa, Wood has attended school in New York and Oklahoma as well as having worked at museums in St. Petersburg and Fort Lauderdale Fla.

Despite having an emphasis in fine arts, Wood has made the transition to a historical museum and enjoyed it thoroughly.

"I wanted to move back to Oklahoma," Wood said. "My family is here and I missed home a lot. I like Ardmore. It's not like your usual small town. There is an art center and a theatre. There is a lot going on culturally here.
"That is what I love about here. You can meet people and talk to them. Everyone is so friendly."

Wood is a ceramic artist and received her undergraduate degree from Alfred University in New York. She received a Masters Degree from the University of Tulsa and was an artist in residence at a museum in St. Petersburg. She moved on to take a job teaching ceramics in Ft. Lauderdale and stayed in Florida for six years before receiving the urge to move back to Oklahoma.

During that time period, she gained experience in museums she has brought to the Greater Southwest Historical Museum.

"I was really interested in all parts of the museum in Florida," Wood said. "We had a department for everything in Fort Lauderdale and you weren't supposed to cross into other departments."

Curiosity would get the best of Wood at times as she looked into other departments. That curiosity has paid off in her new position as curator of the museum. She is currently working on an exhibit that will open in the spring and promises to be exciting.

"I am working on an exhibit about prohibition to open in the spring and a fundraiser to go with it," Wood said. "So right now, I'm really excited about flapper dresses."

As an artist, Wood's passion lies with creating ceramic sculptures. Those are primarily food and food symbolism. While a student in Tulsa, Wood talked about the passion she would bring with her art, visiting numerous cake stores to take pictures and make creations based on what she saw. Wood said once she begins a project, she becomes completely saturated in it.

That passion has led to a more active social media approach for the museum.

"She is very savvy as far as social media is concerned," Michael Anderson, Museum Director, said. "That is really important for small museums and she has done a lot."

Wood said one of the benefits she has seen in working in the historical museum is the amount of public participation.
"Everyone is always bringing in something for the collections," she said. "The public is really active in the museum and I don't think all are members. Usually you have to be in the public pulling teeth, asking people to be a member of the museum. That is not the case here."