Mexico artist travels for the sake of art

Mexico artist travels for the sake of art
An artist and a teacher, Mexico resident Jeremy Divers' photographs from an Alaska tour are now on exhibit at Presser Arts Center. [Dave Faries]
Dave Faries

Jeremy Divers points to the framed image of a young moose and its mother splashing across an Alaskan screen. It’s compelling as a scene plucked from nature, but the canvas also has everything an artist looks for in a photograph, from the play of light to the way it directs a viewer’s gaze.

“I don’t know how I got that shot,” Divers said.

The Mexico artist was lodged in the back of a bus, aiming over the shoulders of other tourists through a pane of glass — not the ideal situation. Then again, Divers captures images as he can.

Titled “Wait for Mama,” the photo is part of an exhibition on display at the Presser Arts Center through the end of the month. The exhibit was culled from a trip to Alaska in 2019.

Another shot of a moose features a wary animal staring at Divers as he squeezes the shutter. Again it’s an impromptu image, taken during an unplanned hike on a trail marked by warnings of grizzly bears lurking.

“When I’m in photographer mode I don’t worry about being mauled,” he said with a laugh.

Divers travels great distances in search of photographic art. Not just through woods and on panoramic mountain tops, but to Iceland, South America, Europe and beyond. He also travels the state.

As an artist, Divers professes an interest in just about everything, except perhaps the activities of humans. Yet his images are not limited to the natural world. In the current show is an urban landscape with a focal point that draws your eye into the scene. Another features the wheel of a steamboat, emphasizing color and contrast.

He lugs around a Sony A6000 and an array of lenses, including vintage ones from the 1950s. If it suits his needs, however, Divers relies on his cell phone. This improvisation gives many of his images an in the moment feel.

“I could say you never know what you’re going to get,” he observed. “But sometimes I know.”

He should. In addition to shooting pictures, painting and creating graphic designs, Divers teaches art to North Callaway students.

Perhaps this accounts for his broad range of artistic interests, as well as his understanding of how a work can be perceived.

“What I see and what you see might be different things,” Divers explained.

Yet there is a rigor to his work. He tries to avoid retouching an image after it is cropped. Only on occasion does he employ software to create a desired effect. Instead he works with the qualities of a lens to shape an image.

“I’m my own worst critic,” Divers said. “I nitpick everything.”

For a time, this drove him into an artistic rut. He was creating, but not putting his work on display. But now he’s back, with an exhibition that would have opened Presser’s 2020 season, had the pandemic allowed.


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