On Wednesday, August 27, the planet Mars will be closer to the Earth -- 56 million kilometers -- than it has been in some 60,000 years; Neanderthals were the last to observe Mars in such proximity, according to NASA. It's obviously an appropriate date for the opening of "See MARS From Tempe: An Exhibition From MARS Artspace" at the Tempe Public Library, though there'll be no sky-gazing involved. To bring this exhibition to the East Valley, the City of Tempe partnered with Movimiento Artistico del Rio Salado Inc. (MARS) Artspace, the Phoenix-based artist-run collective that has been promoting Arizonan and Mexican-American Chicano artwork since 1978. Featured artists include Kelly Barrett, Ralph Cordova, Deborah Hodder, Deborah McMillion Nering, Jerry Jacobson, Larry Nisula, Deborah Salac-Ashforth, Eddie Shea and Linda Shearer Whiting. An opening reception runs from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the library's lower-level gallery, 3500 South Rural, where the exhibition continues through September 19. Visit www.MARS-Artspace.org for more information. - Brendan Joel Kelley
Pump Up the Jammies
Nocturnal ambition in Peoria
Slip on your night cap, then slip out for a nightcap on Saturday, August 23, when Monastery Too's "Hugh Hef Pajama Party" toasts the tycoon of T&A. From 8 p.m. to midnight, the "upscale pajama and lingerie party" rocks the cloisters at 8011 West Paradise in Peoria, promising prizes for the sexiest jammies, plus body painting, drink specials and live music by Legend City. There's no cover charge, and since the bartenders are slingin' stuff stronger than warm milk, attendees must be 21 and up. Call 623-412-7782 for more information. - Jill Koch
All that Jazz in Glendale
Forget Euro chic: Nothing is cooler than jazz -- or more American. Forged by American history and coaxed by American genius, jazz is a trumpet riff in a darkened club when the light catches the horn and plays pure gold. And jazz is somewhere in Paris when a throaty sax dips the low note and makes a Frenchman cry.
Trace jazz's progression as Glendale Community College performing arts professor Dave Schmidt presents "A Historical Perspective of Jazz Music: America's Original Art Form" from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 27, at the main Glendale Public Library, 5959 West Brown. In his sight-and-sound presentation, Schmidt will highlight the major players and events that shaped the genre. For more information, call Anna at 623-930-3550; see www.glendaleaz.com/library or call 623-930-3556 for details on other programs and events. - Kim Toms