When I started creating my collages, my friends loved them. It was at their request did I start selling them. But when they asked about my art, their hesitation in even asking the question made me sad. Why are perfectly intelligent people intimidated by art? Even by bad art? I suppose all the brouhaha started in the mid 1800's when artists like Édouard Manet and Paul Cézanne started to paint whatever the hell they wanted instead of what the rich and the royalty wanted. It was supposed to be giving art back to the common people. And art became more personal instead of political or religious.
Then Marcel Duchamp's "R Mutt" introduced the idea that art is what you make of it. That you can find aesthetic beautiful in a vacuum cleaner, or a urinal. Art no longer is limited to art. But all this freedom and the idea that post modern art is mostly conceptual art, or the idea that the idea is more important than the physical part of art, can be alienating. No longer can a normal person walk into a gallery, look at something and know what the hell is going on. No one likes to feel stupid, even when they're obviously placed in a situation where insufficient information is given. Conceptual art cannot be understood without explanations, without the use of words. There are even art movements who celebrate this codependency, i.e. the Art and Letter group.
The reality of this evolution of art is if you want to understand the art you're looking at, you have to attend the opening of an art show in hopes of meeting the artists. Then go up to various artists and ask what the hell are you trying to say through your art. If you have balls that big than good for you. But for the rest of us mortals, it's intimidating.
Why do you have to go to the openings and get the info from the horses' mouths? Because galleries lack materials that enhance and educate the viewers about the works in their galleries. Have you ever entered an art gallery? The reception you get varies, but overall, the curator or the receptionist can be unfriendly once they size up your clothes and decide you can't afford their art. This is not the way it is in Vegas but it sure is in the bigger cities.
I don't have solutions for the normal people other than to go to the openings and enjoy the cheeses. I do have solutions for the galleries though. Have more educational materials on the artists you're featuring. Even rich people need to know what the hell they're buying. Art isn't inaccessible. It's the surrounding culture (galleries, the market place that dispenses art) that has nothing to do with the substantive art that's preventing the public from enjoying the aesthetic riches available to us in our towns.