Theresa Reddish and Kathryn Peirce both lost sons, Michael and Tristan, respectively, to opioid overdoses.

Devastated by the losses, both mothers started to attend workshops organized by a support group in their hometown of Natick. At the support groups, they created collages made of pictures, personal items and messages dedicated to their loved ones.

Their collages were displayed in the lobby of Newton-Wellesley Hospital as part of The Opioid Project, a traveling art exhibit created by people touched by the opioid epidemic. A doctor and an artist started the project three years ago, and so far about 40 people have contributed artwork.

“Michael passed away Sept. 18, 2017, three months before he turned 26,” Reddish said, smiling. “He was the most beautiful child, most gorgeous smile.”

Reddish said she put dimes, dragonflies and pictures of Michael as a small child on her artwork.

“Right after Michael died, we began finding dimes everywhere in the most unusual places, and dragon flies would land on us whenever we went outdoors,” she explained. “We knew these were signs from Michael that his spirit is here.”

Peirce said she glued a piece of her son Tristan’s favorite shirt to the artwork she created in his honor.

“Tristan always wore this buffalo plaid shirt,” Peirce said. “I feel so sad sometimes, and it’s tough. ... [He] was the oldest of our three sons, and he was a very outgoing young man.”

Dr. Antje Barreveld, director of education and outreach for Substance Use Services at Newton-Wellesley, said The Opioid Project puts human faces to the epidemic.

“This exhibit really personalizes substance use and shows the impact it’s had on individuals and families,” she said.

With the help of community partners, the exhibit travels to hospitals, museums, schools and other public spaces around the state. It will be on display at Newton-Wellesley Hospital through April 26.

Both Reddish and Peirce said they hope people will see their sons and all of the people featured in the exhibit as more than their struggles with addiction.

“That they were a real person and a promising person and had so much to live for,” Reddish said as her eyes welled up with tears.

Peirce said she wants people to realize that the opioid crisis impacts everyone.

“To get people to think about it, that this could be your child,” Peirce said. “It’s my child this time, but we are all exposed to this disease.”