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Natalia Yurievna Ponomareva was born in 1957 in Kalinin (Tver), from 1963 to 1968 she lived in Paris, since her father was a TASS correspondent. In 1969, he crashed in a car accident in the Republic of the Congo. After the 9th grade, she entered the Abramtsevo art-industrial school near Moscow, where she studied for year and a half, then transferred to the Kalinin art school named after I. A.G. Venetsianov (now - Tverskoe). At the same time, she worked as a graphic designer at the Kalinin (now Tver) Puppet Theater.
There Natalia met Sergei Chivikov, the future husband, icon painter and priest. Together, as hippie students, they met in the late 1970s with Alexander Ogorodnikov, an intellectual philosopher who organized a youth philosophical seminar near Kalinin (Tver) on the study of Christianity. Natalia and Sergei became his students, and when Ogorodnikov was arrested and imprisoned for parasitism for two years (and later for anti-Soviet propaganda for seven years), they, along with other students of the school, followers of Ogorodnikov, were declared sectarians. Natalia was allowed to finish her studies, and Sergei had to leave. After that, they moved to Selizharovo, where they gradually settled.
In modern times, after the collapse of the USSR, Sergei became first an icon painter, and then rector of a parish in the village Golenkovo churchyard and Selizharovo. Natalia, however, mainly took care of the family, raising eight blood and two adopted children, helping her husband in churches. In her spare time, of which there was not much, "Mother Natalia" devoted to painting, the plot of which was her native Golenkovo and the life of its inhabitants. In 2018, the first personal exhibition of N. Yu. Ponomareva took place in St. Petersburg, in the Borey Gallery. Many of the artist's works are in private collections in Russia and abroad.