An opening date for the Broadway Gallery and Studio has been announced and a Letchworth artist is going to be the first exhibitor.

The gallery – formerly known as Letchworth Arts Centre – is provisionally set to open on Wednesday, February 24, following three months of refurbishment works to improve the space.

The subject of the inaugural exhibition at the gallery will be Richard Smith, an artist born and raised in Letchworth whose early work has been said to have influenced the Pop Art movement in the 1950s.

The three-month exhibition will feature works from throughout his career, during which time he has represented Britain at the Venice and São Paulo Biennials, while his work is held in major international collections, including Tate and MoMA in New York.

The exhibition has been made possible through a loan of Smith’s works by Flowers Gallery in London.

Laura Dennis, who is the visual arts curator for the gallery, is excited to be shaping the programme for the garden city art hub.

“Richard’s vibrant and joyful paintings are the perfect way to celebrate the opening of the Broadway Gallery,” she said.

“It’s fantastic to be able to show these wonderful works back in the artist’s home town.”

Laura – who has delivered projects and exhibitions for Oxford University and the Southbank Centre in London – is determined to host exhibitions by national and internationally acclaimed artists and to bring touring exhibitions to the town, as well as organising solo shows by emerging talents.

Alongside this she is working with community groups, schools and practitioners to help shape a calendar of gallery-based workshops and events to complement the exhibition programme.

The Broadway Gallery is part of a collection of arts spaces owned and managed by the Letchworth Garden City Foundation, which includes a community museum in The Arcade.

Work is set to start next month on a new theatre at Broadway Cinema in Eastcheap, as part of the Heritage Foundation’s plans to make the town a hub for the arts.