New York State has a lovable new mascot moose, Adirondack Mac, designed by Illustration sophomore Kristina Ingerowski. Her plush, blue-scarfed entry bested nearly 150 other competitors from 35 New York State counties in a contest established last March to design a mascot for the World University Games scheduled for winter 2023 in Lake Placid.
“Adirondack Mac is special to me,” Ingerowshi said, “because I have spent a lot of time over the years with my grandparents and family who live in Lake Placid. I wanted to capture the majestic beauty and character of the Adirondack region. There’s nothing more charming than an Adirondack moose to represent and celebrate this spirit of friendly athletic competition in Lake Placid.”
Her mom actually brought the competition to her attention. “It had popped up on her Facebook page and she knew I needed to do it! It stood out to her, as she grew up in Lake Placid.”
More than 2,500 athletes from more than 50 countries are scheduled to compete there in 86 medal events including hockey, figure skating, curling, skiing, and snowboarding. The games are the world’s largest international winter sports event for student-athletes.
“…I want to congratulate Kristina Ingerowski on her winning design,” Governor Kathy Hochul said in a statement last week.
Adirondack Mac already has a packed itinerary. He’s making public appearances in upstate New York to promote the region and the games. He’s expected to roam among restaurants (no nibbling), shops and events in the vast six million acre Adirondack Park region, the largest publicly protected area in the contiguous United States. It’s larger than Yosemite, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Glacier, and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks combined.
At Lake Placid, Mac will be featured on T-shirts, caps, toys, and anything else that can be retailed.
The mascot competition was open to all New York State residents and anyone attending college here. Ingerowski is a native of Farmington in Ontario County just east of Rochester and a three-hour drive from Lake Placid itself.
To win, Ingerowski and her moose had to excel in a public vote and then withstand scrutiny from mascot experts. Aside from the fame, there was a cash prize of $5,000.
“The mascot design competition was a unique way to showcase the talent and creativity of New Yorkers, and I want to congratulate Kristina Ingerowski on her winning design,” Governor Kathy Hochul said in a statement last week.
Hochul’s office said the moose “represents the best of what New Yorkers and the participating athletes have in common: strength, courage and determination.”
Ingerowski said her creative process “entailed lots of sketches, trial and error, and Panera green tea.” She had never designed a mascot or anything close to it, she said.
“This was a new experience for me outside of my normal style and content. I added a bit of myself to it however, with my technique in rendering using my favorite medium, colored pencils,” she said.
“Originally, I was thinking about a moose, raccoon, or snowy owl. All are animals that are iconic in the Adirondack region. I started with designs for the snowy owl, then the raccoon, but they just weren’t doing it. The moose clicked for me. The moose is such an ideal character for the games, as its strength is unmatched.“
Ingerowski credits skills obtained from her FIT classes, specifically Illustration Process taught by Dave Devries, Illustration Process II taught by Leslie Cober-Gentry, and Painting Process I: Color Theory and Applications taught by Tony Capparelli.
Ingerowski said she was not prepared for the amount of attention she and Adirondack Mac received, although she was “extremely thrilled and grateful. I knew there were plans to get the governor involved with the announcement, but I never imagined so many people would pick up the story.”
She also doesn’t see mascot design as the exclusive focus of her career plans. “I am passionate about illustration, but I am hoping to pursue another degree in Cosmetic and Fragrance Marketing at FIT. I love the illustration aspect of portraiture and makeup, so I am hoping to use both of these skills in my future endeavors.”
But is Stitch, FIT’s mascot, going to be jealous? “I’m not sure,” Ingerowski said. “We would have to have them meet for a little friendly competition.”