The Princess Grace Foundation-USA is a non-profit, publicly-supported charity, headquartered in New York City and established 36 years ago by Prince Rainier III of Monaco to honor his wife, Princess Grace’s [Kelly] legacy.
Its mission is dedicated to identifying and assisting emerging talent in theater, dance, and film by awarding grants in the form of scholarships, apprenticeships, and fellowships. Since its inception, more than 800 recipients have been awarded. Some notable Princess Grace Awards recipients include:
FILM: Emmy Award winner Cary Fukunaga, director of HBO's "True Detective,"Jane Eyre and Netflix's Beasts of No Nation; Jon M. Chu director of Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, Now You See Me 2; Greg Mottola's Superbad and Keeping Up with the Joneses and Stephen Hillenburg, creator of Nickelodeon's most iconic cartoon, "SpongeBob SquarePants."
THEATER: Tony Award winners for Best Direction of a Play, Anna D. Shapiro (August Osage County) and Sam Gold (Fun Home); Tony Award winner for Best Musical Christopher Ashley (Come From Away); Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning playwright Tony Kushner; Tony Award winning actor Leslie Odom, Jr. (Hamilton); Academy Award winner Eric Simonson and Golden Globe Award winner for HBO's "Show Me A Hero," Oscar Isaac.
DANCE: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Artistic Director Robert Battle; American Ballet Theatre’s Gillian Murphy and Isabella Boylston and New York City Ballet’s Tiler Peck; as well as choreographers and MacArthur "Genius" grant winners, Kyle Abraham and Michelle Dorrance.
During Her lifetime, Princess Grace of Monaco sought to recognize and celebrate artistic innovation. Likewise, the Princess Grace Foundation-USA honors art at the vanguard of excellence.
In that spirit of innovation, the PGF-USA commissioned Alex Soldier to create Princess Grace Awards, which are bestowed onto the Awards recipients at the annual Awards Gala. A singular, dramatic statue is presented to the Prince Rainier III Award recipient each year: a celebrity in the arts who has made it his/her personal mission to give back.
Soldier designed a stunning work of art incorporating symbols representing all three disciplines that were close to Princess Grace’s heart and lauded by the Foundation: theater, dance, and film. It is composed of connected symbols denoting these three art forms.
The statue features precious metals, primarily platinum-plated silver with black obsidian and Swarovski crystal accents. The metalwork displays a special texturing technique that is signature to Soldier’s style. From this, he created smaller, wearable versions, which are presented to each Princess Grace Awards winner to wear as a pin, a special reminder of their Award for the world to see.
Soldier’s designs for the PGF-USA were realized in his gallery in NYC, where he worked by hand under a microscope to complete the intricate detailing. Solider notes that, “it would be impossible to achieve the level of layered detail and character unless I did the work myself.”