GARDINER — A slice of outer space now rests in a spot on Water Street.

After a false start on Monday, “Galaxy,” a carved stone sculpture by Southport sculptor Bill Royall, is resting in its summer home in Johnson Park. From now until October, the piece will be part of Gardiner’s Art in the Park program, and that notion pleases Royall.

“Why bother spending $20,000 to $30,000 on one sculpture when you could just rent one for a year?” he said.

For the last five years, Gardiner Main Street has brought in sculptures for seasonal display. It’s a part of the community’s focus on art and culture, said Patrick Wright, Gardiner Main Street’s executive director. During that time, the gift from the Harry Faust Art Fund paid for an artist’s stipend, a reception and related administrative costs, Wright said. The Gardiner Creativity Fund will support the program for two more years.

This is the second year that Gardiner Main Street has worked with the Viles Arboretum in Augusta to secure a piece for display. The 224-acre arboretum is home to the largest outdoor sculpture exhibit in the state.

Mark DesMueles, the arboretum’s executive director, said this partnership is an extension of the arboretum’s mission to raise recognition of what it has to offer.

“This carries our name down to Gardiner and gives the piece a nice venue for people to come view the sculpture,” DesMueles said. “This gives us an opportunity to spread the wealth.”

Wright agreed.

“We see some value in cross-promotion,” he said.

Although he’s wanted to be a sculptor since he was a boy, and he loves the work, Royall is ambivalent about the business of being a sculptor.

“It’s the worst business to be in,” he said.

Each sculpture is worth more than the last one, and if you are in the business long enough, you price yourself out of the market, he said.

“You can’t sell a work for less than your last one, because that buyer will feel ripped off,” he said.

With an established stone masonry business, a company that manufactures mill stones and a sideline in silver jewelry, Royall said he’s not necessarily motivated by money that a sale of his piece might bring, although he noted that is for sale. And the equipment he needs for those businesses comes in handy when he’s making and moving a new piece.

“This works better for me,” he said. “I can rent it for a year and still own it.”

Theoretically, that adds to the piece’s value, he said. But commerce aside, Royall is pleased that people will get a chance to see the work during the warm months.

“Galaxy” shows a slice of the solar system with orbit lines, planets, missing planets and black holes.

The piece originally was scheduled to be moved Monday, but a glitch caused the move to be rescheduled for Wednesday, and the move was completed using a boom truck in the morning.

Wright said an artist’s reception will be held in conjunction with the Aug. 5 Gardiner ArtWalk.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ