For some art exhibits, inkjet printers make printing photos quicker. Printing photos using inkjet printers is also cheaper and easier. Giclée is another, more artistic, name for prints using inkjet printers.
The invention of printers shortly followed the invention of PCs (personal computers). Dot-matrix printers were loud and only printed black dots. Viewers needed to view the entire picture to discern shapes and human forms. (They were crude.)
Grayscale, ink-jet printers followed dot-matrix printers. Grayscale printers attempted to emulate black & white, gelatin silver prints; they were close approximations. However, they used a lot of ink.
Color inkjet printers shortly followed grayscale inkjet printers. Using the CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black), color model, these printers allowed photographers to realistic portray most objects. (Most earthly objects are in color, which is a quality of the light striking the objects, not inherent in the objects themselves.)
Inkjet printers saturate paper with ink as opposed to laser printers, which put powdery, magnetic mixtures on paper. The term laser (light amplification by the stimulated emission of radiation) sounds more dangerous than inkjet. Would you rather get laser light on your palms than get ink on your palms?
Canon, Epson, Hahnemuhle and Legion are some brands that manufacture fine art paper. (Chicago-land, art supply stores such as Blick and Michaels carry these brands.) These papers will make your photographic images stand out more as opposed to the dull images you will get using multipurpose paper or copier paper. Of course, fine art paper is more expensive than multipurpose paper or copier paper.
Some brands of inkjet printers currently on the market are Brother, Canon, Epson and Lexmark. You will always pay less for an inkjet printer than you would for a laser printer. (Inkjet prints are more durable.)
Just about all inkjet printers have at least two types of ink cartridges—black and color. The brand name, black ink cartridge for your printer is at least $25.00. If your inkjet printer has cartridges for each color, (magenta, cyan and yellow), and you use the brand name ink, they will cost at least $15.00 each.
Most, Chicago-land galleries will accept inkjet photos for exhibition. Just be certain that your prints do not have any banding. In addition, you may need to display them in fancy, metal or wooden frames with unique mats.