Commercial galleries are not the only places to show art. It might be worth considering the following options for getting your work in front of members of the public.
On-line Galleries & Artists Communities
There are many websites that function like on-line registries except they are not necessarily affiliated with any particular venue, such as:
Be careful of any site that offers to sell your work. Make sure to read the fine print carefully. It might be a good idea to reach out to artists already on the sire to see how their experiences have been before agreeing to anything. When joining an on-line gallery remember to only put up your best works. Don’t show anything you wouldn’t want the whole art world to know about.
Cafés, restaurants and retail spaces
If you don’t need to show art in commercial spaces that are not solely dedicated to art, then don’t. The risk of damage is high and art is not the clientèle’s primary focus. They are there to eat drink or shop. There are always exceptions of course! Some places are well known for good art.
But not everyone has the luxury to avoid such spaces. If you do decide to go down this route make sure to be extra careful with installation and provide special instructions if needed. Make sure the piece is labelled and you are properly credited. Always make sure the venue has insurance.